António Nobre, the poet who described the real with affection and detail, is known for his work “Só” (the only one published during his lifetime) and which defined him as an author strongly influenced by the movements of Decadentism and Symbolism.
He was born on August 16, 1867, in Porto, more precisely at Rua de Santa Catarina, nº469, parish of Santo Ildefonso, being the son of José Pereira Nobre, born in the parish of Borba de Godim, Lixa, and Ana de Jesus e Sousa. , born in Seixo, parish of S. Mamede de Recesinhos (currently Penafiel).
Lugar do Seixo and the family house, located on the border between the parishes of S. Mamede de Recesinhos and Vila Meã, have always been part of António Nobre’s sentimental universe. Here he spent long periods during his childhood and youth, and it was here that he also returned to “recover from his school failures, in Coimbra” (Queirós, 2008, p. 19). Years later, he would resort to this refuge in search of fresh air to help him recover from the pulmonary tuberculosis he was diagnosed with in 1892 .
Nobre looked for these places scented with memories to rest, but also to write his verses and his letters. The entire rural ambience and natural landscapes surrounding the family’s house in Seixo set the pace of his poetry and filled it with descriptive details about the characters who lived here, the houses he frequented, the pilgrimages he attended (Nossa Senhora das Dores in S. Mamede Recesinhos; Senhora Aparecida in Vilar de Torno; Nossa Senhora das Vitórias, in Lixa), the sounds and aromas so characteristic of these lands and which he kept permanently in his memory.
In these parts the poet would have traveled through the places of Linhares, Casal and Devesa, but he also frequented Vila Meã, where he sometimes disembarked at the train station and where he enjoyed balls and picnics at Casas do Carvalho and S. Brás ( Queirós, 2008, p. 39).
Que noite de Inverno! Que frio, que frio!
Gelou meu carvão:
Mas boto-o à lareira, tal qual pelo Estio,
Faz sol de Verão!
Nasci, num Reino d’Oiro e amores,
Ó velha Carlota! Tivesse-te ao lado,
Assim… desenterro, do Val’ do Passado,
As minhas Memórias.
Sou neto de Navegadores,
Heróis, Lobos d’água, Senhores
Da Índia, d’Aquém e d’Além-mar!
(António Nobre. António in Só, 1892)
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Nobre, A. (1998). Só. Moderna Editorial Lavores. (1ªedição do Só, impressa em Paris em 1892)
Queirós, A. (2008). Viajar com… António Nobre. Direção Regional da Cultura do Norte.