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Nicola Cooney

Hermes Fontes was born in Buquim, in the state of Sergipe, Brazil, a son of rural laborers. He was orphaned at an early age. A highly precocious child, he studied in his hometown and in Aracaju and made such an impression upon the governor of Sergipe that the governor took Fontes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and sponsored his education in the humanities.

As a student Fontes was involved in journalism and literary pursuits, publishing his poetry in journals by the age of fifteen, and his first book, Apoteoses (1908), at age twenty. He continued to pursue journalism, working for the Diário de Notícias, became a civil servant, and took part in the civlilist campaign of Rui Barbosa, earning acclaim for his oratorical skills.

A greatly esteemed poet in his time his work is representative of a phase of transition in Brazil from Parnasianism ...