Ambassador of Brazil’s Northeast Culture, Brazilian poet Bráulio Bessa, Ceará/Northeast Brazil, Motivational poetry, Poem “Begin Again” (Recomece) by Bráulio Bessa, Poetry collection Poetry that Transforms (Poesia que Transforma) by Bráulio Bessa
My Poetry Corner September 2020 features the poem “Begin Again” (Recomece) from the poetry collection Poetry that Transforms (Poesia que Transforma) by Bráulio Bessa, a Brazilian poet and motivational speaker. The poet was born in 1985 in Alto Santo, a city of an estimated 17,000 people located in the semi-arid interior region of the State of Ceará in Northeast Brazil.
At fourteen years old, Bráulio began writing poetry in high school after learning about the work of Patativa do Assaré (1909-2002), a popular oral poet and son of poor peasant farmers who were also from Ceará’s impoverished hinterlands.
“When I had contact with [Patativa’s] poetry, I perceived that a poet with very simple language was capable of speaking about that which is most complex in the world, of passion, and of forgiveness,” Bráulio Bessa told Katy Navarro during an interview on TV Brasil in August 2019. “I put it in my head that I wanted to be a poet and started writing. The most beautiful thing in this was to feel the transforming power of literature, education, and art in my life. I realized that it was possible to also be an agent of transformation in the lives of other people.”
Filled with great dreams, Bessa took a college course in computer systems analysis which motivated him to promote his poetry on the Internet. During the TV Globo program, Encontro com Fátima Bernardes, in August 2018, he spoke about his journey to fulfilling his dream of becoming a poet.
“Living in a small city, I had this sensibility of understanding that a popular Northeastern poet generally goes to the local city market to recite poems as loud as possible to get people’s attention, and I looked at the Internet and said: This here is the world’s largest market, with all kinds of people, never closes, and doesn’t have borders. I began recording videos of poems, covering such themes as fear, prejudice, love, depression, and identity, and published them on the Internet.”
In 2012, Bessa’s videos gained national attention with over 250 million views. His “Northeast Nation,” launched on Facebook, promoting the culture of Brazil’s Northeast Region, has more than a million fans, earning him the nickname “Ambassador of the Northeast.” With his trademark Cearense accent and inseparable hat, and down-to-earth poetry, he enchanted the hearts of viewers.
The poet’s Facebook fame caught the attention of TV Globo, Brazil’s largest television network. Beginning in 2015, Bessa became a weekly participant on their TV program Encontro com Fátima Bernardes to speak about Brazil’s Northeast Culture with a poetic outlook.
The featured poem “Begin Again” is probably Bessa’s best-known poem. Inspiration for this nine-verse poem came from the tragic story of Laura Beatriz. In 2010, at eight years old, Laura lost her entire family in a landslide in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. He speaks to her about hope, faith, and strength to begin again despite her adverse situation.
Every day is a day to begin again, no matter the magnitude of our problem. Cited below are verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9 from Bessa’s poem “Begin Again.”
When life hits hard and your soul bleeds, when this overbearing world hurts you, crushes you… It is time to start over. Begin TO FIGHT again. When everything is dark and nothing illuminates, when everything is uncertain and you only have doubts… It is time to start over. Begin TO BELIEVE again. […] When evil is evident and love conceals itself, when the heart is empty, when the hug is missing… It is time to start over. Begin TO LOVE again. When you fall and no one catches you, when the force of what is bad succeeds in knocking you down… It is time to start over. Begin TO RISE again. When hopelessness decides to whip you, if everything that is real is hard to bear… It is time to start over. Begin TO DREAM again. […] Begin again, redo yourself, remember what was good, rebuild each dream, rediscover some talent, relearn when you make mistakes, shake the hips when dancing, and if one day, way ahead, life gives a reverse, recover your faith and BEGIN AGAIN anew.
To read the complete featured poem and to learn more about the work of Bráulio Bessa, go to my Poetry Corner September 2020.