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Fora sem dentro? Em torno de um poema de João Cabral de Melo Neto

THE POEM "Na festa da casa-grande", by João Cabral de Melo Neto, focuses on the figure of a sugar cane mill laborer. Melo Neto's stylistic procedures closely bring to mind the pictorial techniques of Joan Miró, to which the poet dedicated an insightful essay. The use of intense, isolated figures and of brief melodic lines are in accordance with a surface-minded poetics, whose agenda differs from the classical perspective and its illusion of depth. Such procedures, however, are valueless in themselves from an absolute viewpoint: they were used by the poet both in this poem (which turns sugar cane mill laborers into an empty thing) and in previous texts that pointed toward a vital attitude of resistance, either by the river or by the workers of Brazil's Northeast. What really makes the difference is the presence of an inner face, the voice of the poem, which is internal in O cão sem plumas, O rio and Morte e vida severina, but external in Na festa na casa-grande, whose narrator is a congressman with a northeastern inflection. In the absence of perspective, this voice provides us with meaningfulness.

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