Sometimes by Helga Moreira

Sometimes when you read a translation, you know it is not right, because it doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t seem to be in the tradition of non-sensical poems.  I remember a little Latin and some Papiamentu:) This is what I think the poem says. If you are fluent in Portuguese and you think I am wrong, I would be glad if you let me know!


Sometimes it’s almost a state.
Almost a tree, almost a lake.

Somewhere in the right place.
Something in the wrong place.
Neither a tree nor a lake.
A complete negation.

Let everything go on and on.
And then you guess right – London Bridge.
Bridges built over a state of panic.
Late evening on a clear night.
Shall we find the horizon
by looking at where it is absent?

Por vezes é quase um estado.
Quase uma árvore, quase um lago.

Um lugar no sítio certo.
Qualquer coisa no sítio errado.
Nem árvore, nem lago.
A negação por completo.

Deixa que tudo siga.
Adivinha-se então – London Bridge.
Pontes por sobre o pânico.
Serão em noite clara.
Vamos adivinhar o horizonte
em negação interrogada?

© Translated by Ana Hudson, 2011. I changed Hudson’s translation.
in Agora que falamos de morrer, 2006

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