Tribute to Camões – Portugal’s greatest poet

Today we celebrate Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities and, though we are enduring such hardship, we must remember our cultural riches and the diversity that made us what we are.

Camões and me - Costancia, Portugal

Camões and me - Costancia, Portugal

Camões lived in the sixteenth century, but his greatness of mind makes him an ageless poet. His great concerns are the ones that enlighten Humanity nowadays, and his reflexions are truly universal. He was the Humanist by excellence, a man who could embrace all the Universe. As I liked to tell my pupils, the first anti-racist poet that Mankind knew, in an age where there was still the shameful slavery.

As an example I can say that, while all the renowned poets were still compiling sonnets to the blonde beauties, with pale skin and diamond eyes, Camões wrote one of the most magnificent poems to an Indian lady, a servant, claiming that if the snow ever saw her, would want to change its colour, just to have a beauty comparable to hers. This, I remind you, was in the sixteenth century…

I’m his fan, ever since I know Portuguese literature, and I’ll always be.

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