Socorro Acioli

Drops From a Hero

Drops from a hero

A cordel


My name is Antonio
I have a tale to tell
I will tell you with verses and rhymes
A Brazilian poetry called cordel



Once upon a time,
I met a superhero.
He couldn’t fly, he had no special clothes
He was a man, like you and me, named Ciro.



He was born in the Brazilian south
He became a doctor, smart and brave
From Brazil, he traveled around the world
looking for children who needed to be saved



There was an invisible enemy against us: polio
Destroying lives, killing children
He saw the sadness, the misery and started to fight
Finding a way for the healing to be given



Ciro, the hero, stopped wars for some hours
In some countries in danger, he asked for peace
They called this “A day of tranquility”
The chance to help could not be missed



Ciro, the hero was not working alone
He travelled to every place he could, finding the best way
They were an army in Africa, Asia and the Americas
They were a brave army, working every day



And they won the first battle
In the Americas, where I live, polio is over today
We are billions touched by a superhero’s healing
But, in other places, the war hasn’t gone away.



Until now, while you read this children are still at risk
Ciro’s dream hasn’t yet come true
Polio is an enemy with no mercy
The army is still working, but they need me and you



I was touched by a superhero
He is on my smile, each second of my happy day
Each play, each glimpse of the future.
All the children have the right to live the same way



We need to follow his path
We need to remember Ciro
To fight for every child to receive vaccination
Ciro’s courage is a legacy from a real hero


About The Art

In Drops From a Hero, Socorro Acioli depicts the life of fellow Brazilian Dr. Ciro de Quadros – a giant in the world of immunization and children’s health. Socorro uses the Brazilian storytelling form called “literatura de cordel” (string literature), which are popular and inexpensively printed booklets or pamphlets containing poems, hung by strings to display them, that are produced and sold at fairs and by street vendors in the northeast of Brazil. “We need to follow his path, we need to remember Ciro,” writes Socorro in her poem that hails Dr. de Quadros as a true hero. Dr. de Quadros’ pioneering leadership resulted in the end of polio and measles in the Americas, and his strategies and insights continue to influence efforts to reach all children with vaccines. Dr. de Quadros died in May 2014 – you can learn more about his life in this New York Times obituary.

Socorro
“Some men were born to open a new path to the world. Dr. Ciro de Quadros is one of them. His was a life dedicated to help, save and give hope. ”

Brazilian Socorro Acioli, mentored by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is a critically acclaimed author who writes primarily for children and youth and has published twenty two books so far. This year she released four new books, including her first adult novel, The Head of the Saint. Learn more about Socorro Acioli.

Photo credit Samuel Macêdo.

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