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CECÍLIA MEIRELES (1901 - 1964). Colorized photo by “Fernando Ribeiro Colorization”.


Born in Rio de Janeiro, Cecília Meireles was a poet, journalist, painter and Brazilian teacher. It left great contributions in the field of the story, the chronicle, the children's literature and the folklore. It was the first female voice of great expression in Brazilian literature, with more than 50 published works.

During her training, Cecília Meireles graduated from the primary school at Estácio de Sá School, where she received from Olavo Bilac the gold medal for having taken the course with praise and distinction. In 1917, she became a teacher at the Normal School in Rio de Janeiro. She studied music and languages. She went on to teach in official schools in Rio de Janeiro. Already in 1919, with only 18 years it released its first book of poems, "Espectros".

Cecilia Meireles studied literature, folklore and educational theory. She collaborated in the Carioca Press writing about folklore. She also worked as a journalist in 1930 and 1931 and published several articles on education. Founded in 1934 the first children's library in Rio de Janeiro. Her interest in education has turned into textbooks and children's poems. Also in the same year, at the invitation of the Portuguese government, she traveled to Portugal, where she gave lectures divulging Brazilian literature and folklore.

Between 1936 and 1938, Cecilia taught Luso-Brazilian Literature at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In 1938, the book of poems "Journey" receives the Prize of Poetry, of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. That same year, Cecilia teaches Literature and Brazilian Culture at the University of Texas. She lectures on Brazilian Literature in Lisbon and Coimbra. She publishes in Lisbon the essay "Batuque, Samba e Macumba", with illustrations of her own.
In 1942 she became an honorary member of the Royal Portuguese Reading Office of Rio de Janeiro. He travels to the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, giving lectures on Literature, Education and Folklore.

Cecilia Meireles was never affiliated to any literary movement. His poetry, in general, adheres to the traditions of Portuguese-Brazilian lyricism. In spite of this, their initial publications show a certain inclination for Symbolism, they gather religiosity, despair and individualism.

The frequent use of elements such as wind, water, sea, air, time, space, solitude and music confirm the neosimbolista inclination.

Cecilia Meireles cultivated a reflexive poetry, of philosophical background, that approached subjects like the transitoriness of the life, the time, the love, the infinite and the nature. Cecilia was an intuitive writer who always tried to question and understand the world from her own experiences.

Cecília Meireles