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W240

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

“Poetry is my understanding of the universe, my way of relating to things, my participation in reality, my encounter with voices and images. This is why the poem speaks not of an ideal life but of a concrete one: the angle of a window, the resonance of streets, cities and rooms, the shadow cast by a wall, a sudden face, the silence, distance and brightness of the stars, the night’s breath, the scent of linden and of oregano.”

 

Biography

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (Oporto, November 6, 1919 – Lisbon, July 2, 2004) was an award-winning Portuguese poet and writer.

Sophia, as she is often referred to in Portugal, was born in Porto to a wealthy aristocratic family. She inherited the surname ‘Andresen’ from her paternal grandfather, a Danish merchant. She received a strict Catholic upbringing, and was to remain a fervent believer until the end of her life. After spending her childhood in Porto she moved to Lisbon, where she attended the Universidade de Lisboa. As a student, she was activelly involved in Catholic movements. Politically, she defended constitutional monarchy and openly criticized Salazar’s dictatorship. In 1946 she married lawyer and politician Francisco Sousa Tavares. They had five children, among whom journalist and best-selling author Miguel Sousa Tavares. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974, she made a brief incursion into politics as an MP for the Socialist Party (centre-left).

Andresen… read more

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