Carlos Drummond de Andrade was born in a small town in the interior of Brazil, the ninth son of a rancher with strict traditional values. His rural origins and family life were to be constant sources of inspiration for his poetry. As a rebellious youth, he studied in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of the state, where the family moved in 1920. The young Drummond had already published several items when, in 1922, he became aware of the Modern Art Week in São Paulo, an event that officially launched Modernismo as a program of artistic renovation and nationalist spirit.
In 1924, two leaders of the movement from São Paulo, Oswald de Andrade and Mário de Andrade (no relation), took Swiss-French poet Blaise Cendrars on a tour of Brazil; Drummond met them in Belo Horizonte. The young poet from Minas corresponded with Mário de Andrade, one of Brazil’s most influential men of culture, until the death of the latter. Still in his home state, Drummond was a cofounder, in 1925, of A revista (the review), a modernist organ which lasted through three issues. In the same year, Drummond received a degree in pharmacy, a profession which he never practiced. Instead, he began to earn his living in journalism. In 1928, Oswald de Andrade’s radical literary journal Revista de antropofagia (review of anthropophagy) published a neoteric poem by Drummond which generated much controversy and some early notoriety for the author. His first two...
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