The Amazon poet and journalist Thiago de Mello died this Friday, aged 95. The death was confirmed by the Global publishing house, which published his works.
Born in Barreirinha, in the interior of the Amazon, he is one of the best known poets in the region, and he sang in prose and verse his struggle for the preservation of the largest forest in the world.
One of his most famous poems is “OS Statutes of Man”, written shortly after the establishment of the military regime in 1964, which traveled the world in several translations. The text begins with the lines “It is decreed that now the truth is worth./ Now life is worth it,/ and hand in hand,/ we will all march for the true life.”
Another of his most famous books is “Faz Escuro, Mas Eu Canto: Porque a Manhã Vai Chegar”, published the following year and having its title phrase remembered as an epigraph in the last Bienal de Arte de São Paulo.
For his commitment against the dictatorship, Mello was arrested and spent years in exile in countries such as Argentina, Portugal and Chile, where his friend Pablo Neruda, a Nobel Prize-winning poet for literature, lived. He returned to Brazil after the restoration of democracy, always living in the Amazon.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he circulated among some of the greatest Brazilian authors, such as Manuel Bandeira, Carlos Drummond de Andrade and José Lins do Rêgo.
In an interview with this newspaper, four years ago, he commented that he wrote a kind of memoir in which he reported his impressions of these poets, as well as great international names he met, such as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez.