(Pedra de Toque): Bento, what is the source of your work? Some poets are bound to the experience lived by others, other poets to the idols in the art, others to the observation of themselves, etc. How about you, how do you consider yourself among these poets? Which of these sources predominate as a drive for the creation of your work?
(Bento Ferraz): The source of my creative drive is double. One is introspective, of memories and facts I have lived, the other is the observation of the world and its deployments.
(Pedra de Toque): Do you believe in the work in its posthumous possibilities? Do you think the contemporary people don’t read us with much interest perhaps because we are present and we need to “disappear” or invent a totality so that our work begin to actually flourish or be valued, when much?
(Bento Ferraz): I believe both things occur at random. Very great poets have only been recognized after death, but to mention two of my favorites, I remind that Drummond and Bandeira had full and early acknowledgement of their works.
(Pedra de Toque): What do you expect from a publisher? What does “communicating an author” mean to you these days?
(Bento Ferraz): Last year I had the publication of my poetry book, Palavra após Palavra [Word After Word], by Chiado Editora, but I didn’t like the development. I think a publisher must bet all of their chips when they publish a work.
(Pedra de Toque): Try to summarize each of your books and albums in a chronological order. What’s each of them about?
(Bento Ferraz): My poetry and my music have always been diversified. In my first book, A Tua Geografia [Your Geography], the first poem is dedicated to Drummond. In the first album, of the same year, 2004, I start by paying a homage to Janis Joplin. The second one addresses alienated labor in a song that is one of my favorites. The third, disk, Narciso ao Espelho [Narcissus at the Mirror], is an introspective dive, of 2013. And the second book, Palavra Após Palavra, summarizes my poetic pathway since my teenage years until 2017, the year of the publication.
(Pedra de Toque): What remained as a legacy from the experience of writing in two of the main newspapers of São Paulo. Is there an influence of that work in your current work?
(Bento Ferraz): No influence has remained. My journalistic activity involved edition and quality control.
(Pedra de Toque): What’s impaired you go for the literary prose. Haven’t you written nor do you intend to write novel(s), short stories, chronicles, etc.? Did you get tired of the straight relationship prose-money of the newspapers or are there other reasons?
(Bento Ferraz): My focus has always been poetry. I wouldn’t feel comfortable out of poetry and music.
(Pedra de Toque): How do you compare the composition of the lyrics of your songs from the creation in the poetic works?
(Bento Ferraz): When I create a poem, I get absorbed in it. When I create a song, the melody comes along with some verses that I develop later.
(Pedra de Toque): As a result and as a response from your public, which of the two expression means is more grateful for you?
(Bento Ferraz): I’m currently exploiting the possibilities to follow the artistic career as a composer and singer. Without, of course, abandoning the poetry line.
(Pedra de Toque): The sonnet “Herança” [Heritage], in your book Palavra Após Palavra, addresses “word as a legacy”. How is your relationship with your parents and other relatives concerning word?
(Bento Ferraz): There’s no relationship. The expression regards the set of words and means linguistics as a whole.
(Pedra de Toque): In “Abrupto” [Abrupt], you make an important exaltation of poetry. How do you see the despise or the revolt of the Socratic-Platonic-Christians against poets?
(Bento Ferraz): I think it’s such a badly solved relationship. Poetry is like living and life.
(Pedra de Toque): In the poem that names the book, “Palavra Após Palavra”, dedicated to Cecília Nepomuceno, the persona adds to the poetic work the function of “doing”, in addition to the other two of “being” and “having”, also important for us. What can you tell us about the relation between “doing” and “versifying”.
(Bento Ferraz): In the poem, which is also music, I synthesized the everyday home working of Cecília Nepomuceno, my mother-in-law that I didn’t know but from family history, with the poetic labor. A conjunction of two worlds that touch one another.
(Pedra de Toque): There seems to be an expression difficulty in the hermetic models of the poets in general, as in the case of the sonnets that compose the book Palavra Após Palavra. One becomes too affected by the form and the content doesn’t seem to say everything one wanted to say. Differently from this, you seem to have said everything in these sonnets. Have you actually said or do you keep the sensation of having silenced something or too much, in them?
(Bento Ferraz): I always bet satisfied with the final expression of a poem or music. When it doesn’t happen, it goes to the archive…
(Pedra de Toque): Such as in the poem that says: “my poems are shopping lists”, and in many others, you maintain a clean and accessible writing. Is it intentional or do you tend to write more poems like for instance, “A Caixa” [The Box], that mentions Pandora and requires a more cultivated reader?
(Bento Ferraz): I believe in the reader. I think a cultural gap may be filled with research and acquisition of more knowledge.
(Pedra de Toque): Your poetry runs through the fingers vains. We try to reproach it, as we do with the poets with our scanning look, but we find nothing to convict it. This friendship with the reader comes from the soul genetics or has been acquired with criticisms?
(Bento Ferraz): I’ve had a few criticisms about my work, fortunately all positive ones. But they don’t define the entire task.
(Pedra de Toque): Bento, what is life for you?
(Bento Ferraz): It’s having magnificent memories and rocking dreams.
(Pedra de Toque): Ok, you really convinced us, Bento. We can only say two things: Tell us where we can find your disks and books that are highly truthful, and receive our embrace, which is the only untrue thing in this blog.
Below is a poem (a sonnet) and a song (bossa-nova) that represent the art of the poet:
DE TODO AMOR
De todo e tal amor se poderá dizer
o quanto de belo, e o tão triste
que haverá de ser o esvanecer
- do essencial - que se aviste.
De todo e qualquer tão bem-querer
que seja possível entre as gentes
haverá o fim, e o florescer
da negação do bem que sentes.
De mim, creio poderei dizer
ter sentido o sentir mais caro;
inda que forçoso é reconhecer
que gosto tão doce fez-se amaro
no conjugar tão simples do viver,
ao perceber amar já ser passado.
VIVENDO DE SAUDADE
Estou vivendo de saudade,
na minha mocidade eu conjuguei morrer...
Mas é que, ao chegar a idade,
descobre-se metade do que é bem-querer.
Então, um só substantivo
parece um ente vivo, não deixa esquecer
você, seu rosto, seu sorriso...
e eu fico indeciso, não sei o que dizer.
Talvez, repetindo Noël, escreva no papel
que estou ficando gago...
Mas sei que ao ler o verso meu,
você sabe que é seu, e o sente como afago.
Meu velho e pobre coração
– parece até chavão – está que é só estrago...
Porém, ao pensar em você,
eu bebo até viver, e brindo, e sorvo um trago.
Não sei, parece que ao beber
eu vou até você... vai ver, eu que te trago.
Lyrics and melody: Bento Ferraz
[The books by the author and musician may be found in the webpages of Amazon, Submarino, Livraria Cultura, etc. And all the books and disks may be acquired in the art shop Caminho que Anda, Rua da Ajuda, 199 – Guararema – São Paulo.]