Antônio Pequeno

The great poet of Pipa

“Some time ago we were collecting diverse works in order to represent the Cultural Memory of Pipa During this time we heard about legends such as “Morro dos Amores” (Lovers Hill), “Pedra do Moleque” (The boy’s rock), “Cavalo de Ouro” (the golden horse) and stories of fishermen, the wolf man, enchanted mines and cursed ones like the haunted “Mina do Pé de Trapiá” the most infamous and terrible of all mines.

We found out about the most diverse aspects of cultural life in Pipa and from some documents dating back to last century (the nineteenth century) we discovered to our surprise [considering the times> people who had excellent handwriting and literate women such as Moça de Pedro (Pedro’s girl!) and Joana de Luizá who had read “A Historia de Carlos Magno e Dos Doze Pares de França”.

Poetry, representing the soul of the people, flourished at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries with various poets, notably Antonio de Moça de Pedro with his elegies of the “Bois de Reis” such as “O Nascimento do Aurora” (the birth of Aurora) and “Eu Vi” (I Saw).

In the twenties, side by side with the legends, the first verses written by the poet Antonio José Marinho, the famous Antonio Pequeno (Little Antonio) appear. The school superintendent at the sub station of the police in Pipa, by the forties was also writing plays, musicals and “motes” (verses of political satire and praise written at election time, the most well known being those of José Fidelis da Costa). The most famous inhabitant of Pipa, however, is Antonio José Marinho’s son, of the same name, who began to write his verses and music in the fifties.

Text by Francisco Fernandes Marinho

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