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18/05/2017 - 07:00hs

Center in Lebanon holds Portuguese poetry contest

To mark the most important day of the year for the Brazilian Navy, the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center will host a haiku poem competition themed ‘Sailing.’ Registrations are open until June 12 and the winner will get an iPad.

São Paulo – A poetry contest in Lebanon will pay mark the 152nd anniversary of the Naval Battle of Riachuelo, the most important date for the Brazilian Navy. The contest is being organized by the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center, by the Brazilian command of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and by the embassy of Brazil in Beirut. Registrations begin on June 12 and the winner will get an iPad.

The contest will be for haiku poems. “It’s a very simple style. The Japanese format is strict, but our idea is to adapt that template for Brazil instead of adhering to it strictly,” explains Najua Bazzi, the director of the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center. See the end of this article for examples of haiku poems by Brazilians.

“The intention of the contest is to bring civilians and military officers together. The idea came from Thiago Oliveira, the cultural attaché [of the Brazilian embassy],” Bazzi explains. The Naval Battle of Riachuelo was the most important confrontation in the Paraguayan War. It took place by the banks of the Riachuelo River, and in winning it, the Triple Alliance.

The poetry contest is open to any entrants older than 14 and residing in Lebanon. All texts must be previously unpublished and written in Portuguese. Besides an iPad, the contest’s winner will receive a certificate issued by the Brazilian Navy. Second and third places will win chocolates and an honorable mention.

The winners will be picked on the basis of several criterions, including adequateness of title to text, originality and creativity, quality of rhyme and poetical language, and quality of Portuguese language. Announcement of the winners and the prize ceremony will take place on June 15 at 7 pm.

While entries are open, the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center will host two free preparatory workshops, on May 19 and June 2, both from 6 pm to 8 pm. “Anyone can register for the workshops, whether they wish to enter the contest or simply become familiar with haiku poetry,” says.

For those looking for inspiration for the contest, Bazzi notes that in Brazil, the leading names of haiku poetry include Paulo Leminski, Guilherme de Almeida, Afrânio Peixoto, and Alice Ruiz. The full call for entries for the contest can be requested from the Center’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Brasiliban. For additional information please call 01 322905.

Here are a few examples of haiku poems:

“nuvens brancas
em brancas nuvens”
(white clouds
go by
in clouds of white)
Paulo Leminski

“Calor. Nos tapetes
tranquilos da noite, os grilos
fincam alfinetes”
(Heat. Upon the tranquil
carpets of the night, the crickets
sticking pins)

Guilherme de Almeida

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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