This paper studies the proposals concerning Brazilian education made by Fernando de Azevedo in his first intellectual work, A poesia do corpo (The poetry of the body), written in 1915. This author presented his text in 1916 in the form of a dissertation for the competitive examination for the title of professor at the Chair of Ginástica e Educação Física (Gymnastics and Physical Education) of the Ginásio Mineiro. Avoiding any kind of determinism, the text strives to verify the presence of "trends and conflicts" that may have marked his future intellectual production. It explores more specifically how the theme of the "lowering of the moral level" in Brazil emerges in Fernando de Azevedo and other intellectuals of his time, such as Olavo Bilac, Coelho Neto, Euclides da Cunha and Monteiro Lobato.
Fernando de Azevedo; Brazilian social thought; Public education; Moral education and organicism; Physical education