Today in 1847, Brazilian romantic poet and playwright Antonio de Castro Alves was born in Bahia. He is often referred to as the “Poet of the Slaves” for his many abolitionist and republican poems. As a mulatto he championed the cause of slaves and produced over thirty anti-slavery pieces of work. He wrote many poems in his short life that were not published until after his death. Castro Alvos only published one book of poems called Espumas Flutantes (Floating Foam).
In Espumas he included Portuguese translations of several Victor Hugo and Lord Byron poems. He is considered one of the country’s greatest social poets and his words are credited with the abolition of African slavery in the country in 1888.
This Pisces suffered like a true poet from many ailments, with tuberculosis taking his life at age 24.
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