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 home >> literatura de cordel symposium >> cordel gallery page two
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Literatura de Cordel:
Continuity and Change in Brazilian Popular Literature

Symposium: September 26-27, 2011
Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 119
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC

Gallery of Covers from the American Folklife Center's
Literatura de Cordel Brazilian Chapbook Collection
Page Two


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Cover: A Saudade Que o Papa Deixou
A Saudade que o Papa Deixou (The Longing that the Pope Left) by J. Barros, 1982. Woodcut by the author. This is one example of the many poems composed to honor the visit of Pope John Paul II to Brazil in 1982. AFC 1970/002:M01997.
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Cover: Vida, Martírio e Beatificação de Irmã Lindalva
Vida, Martírio e Beatificação de Irmã Lindalva (Life, Martyrdom and Beatification of Irmã Lindalva) by Neto Braga, no date, ca. 2007. Woodcut by Gilvan Lopes. A poetic tribute on the beatification of Irmã Lindalva, a nun who was murdered while serving the poor in 1993. AFC 1970/002:M08382.
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Cover: Terror nas Torres Gêmeas
Terror nas Torres Gêmeas (Terror in the Twin Towers) by José João "Azulão" dos Santos, no date, ca. 2001. Cover art by Erivaldo.World news events are a frequent source for cordel poetry; in this example, the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. AFC 1970/002:M07851.
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Cover: Os Costumes Escandalosos e a Loucura da Ciência
Os Costumes Escandalosos e a Loucura da Ciência (The Scandalous Customs and the Madness of Science) by Hildemar de Araújo Costa, 1981. Woodcut by Jussandir Raimundo de Souza. A satire on rapid cultural changes, the problems of modern life, and the failure of science in dealing with these issues rather than contributing to them. AFC 1970/002:M02337.
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Cover: O DNA Do Indiano
O DNA do Indiano (The DNA of an Indian) by Chico Salles, no date. Woodcut by Ciro Fernandes. The tale of a boy who does not know that he is illegitimate. He goes to college to become a geneticist. When a favorite Indian professor is injured, he gives blood. A DNA test is done, the professor dies, and the boy discovers that the dead man is his father. AFC 1970/002:M08343.
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Cover: Debates de Guerra Entre Buxe e Sadam Russem
Debates de Guerra Entre Buxe e Sadam Russem (Discussions of War Between Bush and Saddam Hussein) by Abraão Batista, 1991. Woodcut by the author. Personalities on the world stage are often subjects of cordel art and poetry. This woodcut shows President George H. W. Bush is shown in conflict with Saddam Hussein with each seated on a dragonfly carrying a missile. AFC 1970/002:M04751.
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Cover: A Intriga do Cachorro com o Gato
A Intriga do Cachorro com o Gato (The Intrigue of the Dog with the Cat) by José Pacheco da Rocha, no date. Artwork by Queiroz. This poem about a cat who owns a bodega confronted by a dog sent to arrest him has been reprinted many times since it was first published in 1954. Here it is repackaged with a lithographed cover, a publisher's practice unwelcome to many traditional cordelistas. AFC 1970/002:M02242.
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Cover: Terra: o Nosso Planeta pede Socorro
Terra: o Nosso Planeta pede Socorro (Earth: Our Planet Needs Help) by Gonçalo Ferreira Da Silva, 2005. Woodcut by J. Victtor. Concern for the Brazilian rain forest and for global ecological and wildlife conservation are common subjects of today's cordel poets. AFC 1970/002: M07860.
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Cover: O Milagre de Amparo e Amaro
O Milagre de Amparo e Amaro (The Miracle of Amparo and Amaro) by Cícero Lins de Moura, 2003 (first printed in 1973). Woodcut by the author. Cícero Lins de Moura brings artistic training to his block prints, yet he also works within the established tradition. As a poet, he is known for his use of irony. AFC 1970/002:M08210.
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Cover: Mahatma Ghandi
Mahatma Ghandi by GonçaloFerreira Da Silva, no date. Photo by Vithalbhai Jhaveri. Tributes to famous people provide a source of biography and history to readers of popular verse. Here, Silva describes Gandhi's life, philosophy of non-violence, and its influence on the world. AFC 1970/002:M08394.
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Cover: Mané Garrincha
Mané Garrincha, by Raimundo Santa Helena, 1983. Woodcut by Zé Andrade. An elegy for soccer great Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known as "Mané Garrincha," who died in 1983. In this chapbook, notation for a tune shows that it was intended to be sung. AFC 1970/002:M02241.
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Cover: Os Males da Burocracia
Os Males da Burocracia (The Evils of Bureaucracy) by José João "Azulão" dos Santos, 1986. Woodcut by Ciro Fernandes. Cordel poets often take on the role of social critics, as in this poem about the struggles with bureaucratic systems faced by ordinary citizens. AFC 1970/002:M005209.
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Cover: O Cordel e o Repente Por Caminhos Diferentes
O Cordel e o Repente por Caminhos Diferentes (Cordel and Improvisation on Different Paths) by Joames (Joaquim Luiz Sobrinho), no date. Cover art unsigned. Poets sometimes use cordel to discuss cordel, as in this example where the author reflects on modern influences on the genre, such as television and CDs. Notice the cordel strung between the guitars. AFC 1970/002:M08403.
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Cover: Sententa Anos de Vida do Compadre J. Borges
Sententa Anos de Vida do Compadre J. Borges (Seventy Years of Life of Our Comrade J. Borges) by Zé da Madalena, 2006. Cover: A group of woodcut images by José Francisco Borges. Another way that cordel calls attention to its own history is through tributes to its authors like this one. AFC 1970/002:M08383.
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Cover: Branca de Neve e o Soldado Guerreiro
Branca de Neve e o Soldado Guerreiro (Snow White and the Warrior) by Leandro Gomes de Barros, 2006. Cover art by Klévisson Viana. Barros lived from 1865-1918 and published over 200 cordel. This classic of the genre has been reprinted by the Academia Brasileira de Cordel, an organization by and for authors. AFC 1970/002:M07986.
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