Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães

Portrait of Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães

Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães was a Brazilian poet and novelist. He was born on 15th August 1825 in Ouro Preto, Brazil and died on 10th March 1884 in Ouro Prêto, Brazi aged 58.

Major Works

“O Seminarista” (The Seminarist) (1872)
“A Morte de Gonçalves Dias” (Gonçalves Dias’s Death) (1873)
A Escrava Isaura” (The Slave Girl Isaura) (1875)
“Novas Poesias” (New Poems) (1876)

Biography Timeline

Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães was born on 15th August 1825 in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. His father was the poet João Joaquim da Silva Guimarães and his mother was Constança Beatriz de Oliveira.

1847: He graduates from the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Sao Paulo where he has made friends with the poets Alvares de Azevedo and Aureliano Leesa and led a bohemian life. They found the “Sociedade Epicureia” (Epicurean Society) but their joint collection of poetry called “As Três Liras” (The Three Lyres) is unsuccessful.

1852: He becomes a judge in Catalao in the state of Goias. Which he holds until 1854. He writes “Cantos da Solidão” (Solitude Songs).

1858: He moves to Rio de Janeiro. 

1859: He works as a literary critic for the newspaper “Atualidade”.

1861: He becomes a judge in Catalao once more.

1864: He returns again to Rio de Janeiro.

1866: He moves back to Ouor Preto to become a teacher specialising in poetry and rhetoric.

1867: He gets married.

1868: He writes “O Ermitão de Muquém” (The Hermit of Muquém).

1871: He writes “Lendas e Romances” (Legends and Romances).

1872: He publishes “O Seminarista” (The Seminarist), “O Garimpeiro” (The Prospector) and “Histórias da Província de Minas Gerais” (Stories from the Minas Gerais Province).

1873: He teaches Latin and French in Quelez (now Conselheiro Lafaiete) in Minas Gerais. He writes “O Índio Afonso” (Afonso the Indian) and “A Morte de Gonçalves Dias” (Gonçalves Dias’s Death).

1875: He publishes his anti-slavery novel “A Escrava Isaura” (The Slave Girl Isaura).

1876: He publishes his poetry collection “Novas Poesias” (New Poems). He introduces the verso bestialógico to Brazilian poetry (also called pantagruélico) which roughly translates as silly verse or nonsense poems. “O Elixir do Pajé” (The Witchdoctor’s Elixir) and “A Origem do Mênstruo” (The Origin of Menstruation) are examples.

1877: He writes “Maurício, ou; Os Paulistas em São João Del-Rei (Maurício, or; The Paulistas in São João Del-Rei).

1879: He writes “A Ilha Maldita” (The Damned Island) and “O Pão de Ouro” (The Golden Bread).

1881: He is honoured by King Pedro the Second of Brazil.

1883: He writes “Rosaura, a Enjeitada” (Rosaura the Neglected) and “Folhas de Outono” (Autumn Leaves).

Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães died a poor man on 10th March 1884 in Ouro Prêto, Brazil.