Brazilian “Poet of the Periphery”, Brazilian Poet Sérgio Vaz, Marginalized Poetry, Poem “A Dream” by Sérgio Vaz, Poema “Um Sonho” por Sérgio Vaz, Taboão da Serra/Greater São Paulo/Brazil
My Poetry Corner March 2023 features the poem “A Dream” (Um Sonho) by Brazilian poet, writer, and cultural agitator Sérgio Vaz from his 2007 poetry collection Stone Collector (Colecionador de Pedras). He is known across Brazil as the “Poet of the Periphery.” Born in 1964 in Ladainha in the interior of the southeastern State of Minas Gerais, he was five years old when he moved with his family to Taboão da Serra in the outskirts of the City of São Paulo where he completed high school.
With his father’s encouragement, Sérgio developed a reading habit from an early age. He grew up roaming the back streets of the city, observing its cultural roots, habits, and customs. After an invitation to write lyrics for friends who had a musical band, he began exploring poetry. During an interview with Katia Marko and Fabiana Reinholz for Brasil de Fato in November 2021, Sérgio said:
“Poetry for me is when it comes down from the pedestal and kisses the feet of the community. I had to take off that elegant outfit, that sophisticated word. Poetry presented itself like this, in a humble way for me, fighting against the [military] dictatorship [1964-1985], against tyranny. That’s how I became interested in poetry, knowing that it could be an instrument of struggle through words.”
During the same interview, Sérgio said that his poem, “Stubbornness” (Teimosia), defines him a lot because one must be stubborn to be Brazilian today.
It is of no use should they break my legs pierce my eyes or talk behind my back. What sustains my body are my ideas. Arms uncrossed, I have a brain with wings and I am all heart. If they should forbid me to walk on water, I swim over the land.Continue reading