Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s 117th Birthday – “What now, José?” asked Brazilian writer Carlos Drummond de Andrade in a popular poem from his 1942 anthology, Poesias. Today’s Doodle celebrates an individual whom many consider one of the greatest poets in modern Brazilian literature. Born in the mining town of Itabira on this day in 1902, Drummond composed poems that broke formal rules in verse and expressed the stresses of modern life. He also worked as a literary critic and journalist, writing short semi-fictional newspaper essays, known as crônicas, about the lives of ordinary people, including children and the poor.
After co-founding the literary journal A Revista in 1925, Drummond spent years on his poetry collection Alguma Poesia, emerging as a leading figure in Brazilian modernism. Having earned his degree in pharmacy, he went on to work for Brazil’s Ministry of Education as well as the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Service of Brazil. Throughout his career, he published over a dozen volumes of poetry and a handful of collections of crônicas. His 1986 collection Traveling in the Family: Selected Poems includes English translations by prominent poets Elizabeth Bishop and Mark Strand.
Drummond has received many awards—including the Brazilian Union of Writers Prize—and has become a fixture of Brazilian popular culture. His “Canção Amiga” (“Friendly Song”) was printed on Brazilian currency, and a statue of the poet stands near the ocean in Rio de Janeiro.
Early concepts by artist Olivia Huynh
You can find more about Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s 117th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page