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João Cabral de Melo Neto

Cabral de Melo Neto, João (zhwouN kəbrälˈ dĭ māˈlü nāˈtü) [key], 1920–99, Brazilian poet and dramatist. Raised on his family's sugarcane plantation, he entered the foreign service in 1945 and retired in 1990. Eschewing both free verse and traditional lyric forms, Cabral likened poetry to manual labor and fit (somewhat uneasily) with fellow Brazilian postmodern writers of the "Generation of 1945." His major poetic works include Pedra do sono [stone of sleep] (1942), O cão sem plumas [the dog without feathers] (1950), and Uma faca só lâmina [a knife all blade] (1955). His most popular poem was The Death and Life of Severino (1954), which was set to music and made into a film and a television drama. He also wrote drama in verse, including Auto de frade [one-act play about the friar] (1984). His Selected Poetry, 1937–1990 was published in English translation in 1995.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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