Who was Auta de Souza?

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Auta de Souza (12 September 1876 — 7 February 1901) was a Brazilian poet.[1] She wrote Romantic poems, with some Symbolistic influence. Souza published only one book in her lifetime, Horto. Folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo deemed her as "the greatest mystical poet in Brazil".[2


Souza was born in Macaíba, daughter of Elói Castriciano de Souza and Henriqueta Leopoldina Rodrigues.

She became an orphan when she was three, with her mother's death by tuberculosis; her father died of the same disease the next year. Souza was then raised by her maternal grandmother[1] in Recife, where she took particular classes.


When she was eleven, she was enrolled at the Colégio São Vicente de Paula, a Catholic school run by Vicentin nuns. Souza left school when she was fourteen because of a tuberculosis diagnosis, but then she became an autodidact.

At eighteen, she began to collaborate with the magazine Oasis, and at twenty wrote for A República, a larger circulation newspaper which gave her visibility to other regions' press. Her poems were published in Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Paiz.

The following year she would write assiduously for the Natal newspaper A Tribuna, and her verses were published together with several writers from northeast Brazil [3]. Between 1899 and 1900, she signed his poems under the pseudonyms "Ida Salúcio" and "Hilário das Neves".


Several of her poems were adapted as lyrics for modinhas - a popular song style of the nineteenth century Brazil.

In 1900 she published her only book, Horto, prefaced by Olavo Bilac.


Auta de Souza died on February 7th, 1901, of tuberculosis, in the city of Natal, Brazil. She was buried at Cemitério do Alecrim, but in 1904 her remains were moved to the family grave, at the church of Our Lady of Conception, in her birth city, Macaíba.


  1. Jump up to:a b Valdés, Vanessa K. (2012-01-17). The Future is Now: A New Look at African Diaspora Studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443836777.

  2. ^ "Souza, Auta de, 1876-1901"www.linguagemviva.com.br. Retrieved 2016-04-12.

  3. ^ Callahan, Monique-Adelle (2011-04-22). Between the Lines: Literary Transnationalism and African American Poetics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199876693.

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