Monday, July 13, 2009

Correia- Lyricist of the Anthem of Azores

The Azores are an autonomous province of Portugal, and have their own local, unofficial anthem- "Hino dos Acores" (Hymn of the Azores). The original song was composed by Joaquim Lima during the 1890s when the autonomy movement was growing. Originally without lyrics (yet several unofficial lyrics were penned to promote autonomy), the Azorean government asked Azorean poetess Natália de Oliveira Correia to compose official lyrics for the anthem. The government also adopted Teófilo Frazão's arrangement of the original melody as the official version of the anthem in 1980.

Natália de Oliveira Correia, (b. September 13, 1923 in Fajã de Baixo, São Miguel Island, Azores - March 16, 1993 in Lisbon) was a Portuguese writer, and was the author of the lyrics of Hino dos Açores, the traditional anthem of The Azores.

Correia was born in Fajã de Baixo near downtown Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel island in the Azores on September 13, 1923, daughter of Manuel de Medeiros Correia and wife, married in 1918, writer Maria José de Oliveira (Capelas, Ponta Delgada, May 26, 1892 - Brazil, January 1956). She had an older sister named Carmen de Oliveira Correia, unmarried and without issue. She moved to Lisbon when she was 11. She collaborated in the publication of various periodicals and was the deputy of the Portugues Social Democratic Party. She was one of the most important activists in the fight against fascism in her country, and a prominent defender of culture, human rights and womens' rights in particular. She is considered one of the most important figures in 20th century Portuguese literature.

Correia's deep affection for her native island's native beauty is demonstrated profoundly in the themes, images and symbols portrayed in her works, as well as by her association with contemporaries Antero de Quental and Vitorino Nemésio. She was much influenced by surrealism, Galician-Portuguese poetry, and mysticism, and her works span the spectrum from poetic romanticism to satire. She worked in many different genres: poetry, essays, theatre, and anthologies.

Correia participated in several political oppositional movements, opposing Estado Novo (New State) and supporting MUD (Movimento de Unidade Democrática in 1945). At one point, Correia spent three years in prison, under a suspended penalty, for the publication of a poem deemed offensive by authorities. In 1980 she was elected to Parliament as a member of the PPD (Partido Popular Democrático).

In 1991, Natália Correia received an award from Grande Prémio de Poesia da Associação Portuguesa de Escritores (Grand Premium of Poems of the Portuguese Writers Association) for her book Sonetos Românticos (Romantic Sonnets). In the same year, she was admitted to the Ordem da Liberdade and Ordem de Santiago.

Natália Correia died on March 16, 1993 in Lisbon. She was married four times, all of them without any issue: in 1942 to Álvaro Pereira, in 1949 to William Creighton Hyler, in 1950 to Alfredo Machado and in March 1990 to Dórdio Leal Guimarães (Porto, March 10, 1938 - July 2, 1997).