“The Ballroom in Bloom” by Castro Alves

Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright. His abolitionist writing won him the epithet of “O Poeta dos Escravos” (“The Poet of the Slaves”). How lovely the shores of this powerful river, Which flows away frothy, unrivaled, supreme: There in bromeliads, among golden blossoms, Sylphs and fairies establish their…

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“The Phantasmal Canoe” by Castro Alves

Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright. His abolitionist writing won him the epithet of “O Poeta dos Escravos” (“The Poet of the Slaves”). Coming through the fearful shadows Where is it bound, that canoe? Is it sailing manned or is it lost? Does it travel true or float…

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“The Wolf Howls” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. The wolf howls beneath the leaves Spitting up the gorgeous plumes Of the fowl on which he…

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“The Sleeper in the Vale” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. In a green hollow where a river sings, Moss sways wildly in ribbons of silver; The sun…

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“The Albatross” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. Often, for fun, the men of the crew Catch albatrosses, vast birds of the seas, That follow the ship like lazy companions As it glides its way over bitter depths. No sooner are they pinned to the…

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“The Vampire” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. You who, like a thrusting knife, plunged into my plaintive heart; You who, strong as a demon horde, Arrived, insane and all adorned: From my humble spirit Build your bed and your domain; O wretch to whom…

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“Curriculum” by Mario Benedetti

Mario Benedetti was a prolific Uruguayan writer and poet. The tale is very simple you are born you contemplate afflicted the reddish blue of the sky the bird that emigrates the clumsy beetle that your shoe will smash bravely you suffer you cry for food and out of habit because…

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“Alhambra” by Jorge Luis Borges

Qal‘at al-Ḥamra, known by the Spaniards as Alhambra, was a Moorish fortress and castle in Granada that was captured during the Catholic Reconquista. Pleasant the voice of the water to those wearied by black sand, pleasant to the concave hand the curving marble of the column, pleasant the delicate labyrinths…

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