The Portuguese poet that loved the sea

“Portuguese Poetry: Sailing Along with Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen” is the title of a talk this month by Sandra Boto, a specialist in Portuguese literature.

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen was an award-winning Portuguese poet and writer. In 2014 she was unanimously chosen by parliament to be given National Pantheon honours – only the second woman, after Amália Rodrigues, to be so honoured. She was born in Porto in 1919 and died in Lisbon in 2004.

She won acclaim as a storyteller and she was the first woman to receive the highest Portuguese award for poetry, the “Prémio Camões”.

“Poetry is my understanding of the universe, my way of relating to things, my participation in reality, my encounter with voices and images,” Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen once said. The sea is the most central theme in her poetical works.

Sandra Boto was an assistant teacher at the University of the Algarve where she graduated in Modern Languages and Literature – Portuguese Studies.

One of her main fields of work is Portuguese folk poetry, along with Portuguese and Spanish Literature in a comparative perspective.

Sandra worked for the last year at Barcelona University coordinating the Portuguese Language Centre.

She has now returned to the Algarve to complete her post-doctoral research.

The talk will be held first on September 7 in the Tavira municipal library and on September 9 in the Lagoa municipal library, both starting at 6pm.

The talks are organised by the Algarve History Association.