Written in 1975 in Buenos Aires when Ferreira Gullar was in political exile from the Brazilian dictatorship, Dirty Poem is an epic poem that amid life events traces the author s political and artistic evolution and is by most accounts the most important long poem of contemporary Brazilian literature. Scholar and critic Otto Maria Carpeaux wrote: Dirty Poem deserves to be called National Poem because it embodies all of the experiences, victories, defeats, and hopes in the life of the Brazilian citizen. It is a hypnotic work that draws on the poet s memory of adolescence in the seaside city of Sao Luis do Maranhao during World War II and deals openly with the dirty shamefulness of a socio-economic system that abuses its citizens with poverty, sexism, greed, and fear."
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