Intercity by Margarida Vale de Gato #sex #poem #love

Intercity

we ride down the backs of hills inside
the earth eating eucalyptus eating haystacks
spitting out the wind spitting out time spitting out
time
time the trains gulp the opposite way going
the opposite way stealing our time my love

I need you who are flying
to me
but you fly unfurling sails over the sea
you have wing-space you hover you drift while I
keep crawling towards you along the rails
with occasional sparks I write to you my love
cheating your absence the claustrophobia of the mustard
coloured curtains you walk on water and now
I know
words are less worthy than boats

I need you my love in this loneliness this forsakenness
of thick curtains preventing the sun preventing my
flight and nevertheless on the opposite side
the sky boasts little lamb clouds hopping
hopping on oats and wheat fields there are none here
we eat eucalyptus eucalyptus and whitewashed churches
leaning over level-crossing whitewashed churches
my love
I smoke a cigarette in between two stops I read
Lobo Antunes I think people are sad people
are so sad people are pathetic my
love just as well you hide me from the world you hide
me from the world’s patronising smiles the world’s
self-righteous consent
by night on your loins my love I
am also a boat sitting on top of your body
I am a mast

I need you my love I am tired I ache
close to where my eyes are set I feel like crying still I
desire you but before before you touch me before you say
I want you my love you shall let me sleep a hundred years
a hundred years from today we’ll be boats again
I am lonely
Portugal is everlasting we eat eucalyptus
everlasting eucalyptus lean and green
we eat eucalyptus interspersed with shrubs
we eat eucalyptus the ache of your absence my love
we eat this heat and the railtracks and anguish
set ablaze inside Lobo Antunes’ novel
we eat eucalyptus and Portugal is everlasting Portugal
is huge and I need you and in the opposite way they are stealing
time it’s our time they are stealing my love it’s time
time for us to be boats and sail through walls inside rooms
my love to be boats at night
at night to blow oh sweetly blow into full sail

boats.

 

Intercidades

galopamos pelas costas dos montes no interior
da terra a comer eucaliptos a comer os entulhos de feno
a cuspir o vento a cuspir o tempo a cuspir
o tempo
o tempo que os comboios do sentido contrário engolem
do sentido contrário roubam-nos o tempo meu amor

preciso de ti que vens voando
até mim
mas voas à vela sobre o mar
e tens espaço asas por isso vogas à deriva enquanto eu
vou rastejando ao teu encontro sobre os carris faiscando
ocasionalmente e escrevo para ti meu amor
a enganar a tua ausência a claustrofobia de cortinas
cor de mostarda tu caminhas sobre a água e agora
eu sei
as palavras valem menos do que os barcos

preciso de ti meu amor nesta solidão neste desamparo
de cortinas espessas que impedem o sol que me impedem
de voar e ainda assim do outro lado
o céu exibe nuvens pequeninas carneirinhos a trotar
a trotar sobre searas de aveia e trigais aqui não há
comemos eucaliptos eucaliptos e igrejas caiadas
debruçadas sobre os apeadeiros igrejas caiadas
meu amor
eu fumo um cigarro entre duas paragens leio
o Lobo Antunes e penso as pessoas são tristes as
as pessoas são tão tristes as pessoas são patéticas meu
amor ainda bem que tu me escondes do mundo me escondes
dos sorrisos condescendentes do mundo da comiseração
do mundo
à noite no teu corpo meu amor eu
também sou um barco sentada sobre o teu ventre
sou um mastro

preciso de ti meu amor estou cansada dói-me
em volta dos olhos tenho vontade de chorar mesmo assim
desejo-te mas antes antes de me tocares de dizeres quero-te
meu amor hás-de deixar-me dormir cem anos
depois de cem anos voltaremos a ser barcos
eu estou só
Portugal nunca mais acaba comemos eucaliptos
eucaliptos intermináveis longos e verdes
comemos eucaliptos entremeados de arbustos
comemos eucaliptos a dor da tua ausência meu amor
comemos este calor e os caminhos de ferro e a angústia
a deflagrar combustão no livro do Lobo Antunes
comemos eucaliptos e Portugal nunca mais acaba Portugal
é enorme eu preciso de ti e em sentido contrário roubam-nos
o tempo roubam-nos o tempo meu amor tempo
o tempo para sermos barcos e atravessar paredes dentro dos quartos
meu amor para sermos barcos à noite
à noite a soprar docemente sobre as velas acesas

barcos.

© Translation by Margarida Vale de Gato and Ana Hudson, 2010

in Mulher ao Mar, 2010http://www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org/Margarida__Vale_de_Gato

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The sea is for us all, O mar é para todos nós, Isabel Aguiar, One never returns to the same place.

The sea is for us all

The sea is for us all
The sea has mystical fish
The sea is the Firmament
The sea is the Firmament
The sea is the Firmament
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
The nets Are the Entire Firmament Sparkling.

O mar é para todos nós

O mar é para todos nós
O mar tem peixes místicos
O mar é o Firmamento
O mar é o Firmamento
O mar é o Firmamento
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixe místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
As redes São Todo o Firmamento a Luzir.


ONE NEVER RETURNS TO THE SAME PLACE

therefore, when the child left the marigold field behind
he looked back several times

NUNCA SE REGRESSA AO MESMO LUGAR
por isso, quando a criança partiu do campo dos malmequeres
olhou muitas vezes para trás

in Nunca se Regressa ao Mesmo Lugar, 2003


the child counted twenty three lambs

the child counted twenty three lambs, covered in soft wool, in order
to be less cold as she remembered her mother knitting
baby-pink booties.

a criança contou vinte e três carneirinhos

a criança contou vinte e três carneirinhos, cobertos de lã macia, para
sentir menos frio a lembrar-se da mãe a tricotar umas botas de dormir
cor de rosa bebé.
in Nunca se Regressa ao Mesmo Lugar, 2003

© Translated by Ana Hudson, 2012

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

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

2.
Somewhere in the right place.
Something in the wrong place.
Neither a tree nor a lake.
A complete negation.

3.
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?

1.
Por vezes é quase um estado.
Quase uma árvore, quase um lago.

2.
Um lugar no sítio certo.
Qualquer coisa no sítio errado.
Nem árvore, nem lago.
A negação por completo.

3.
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

Beatriz Hierro Lopes-It’s almost dark #sexwork is decent

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 10.45.57 AM

B/W 1951 Caucasian boy + Black girl walking on rural train tracks / Louisiana / documentary shot credit: Archival Films? No known artist.

It’s almost dark.
Women of different ages await the arrival of someone […] While waiting, they talk to the stones with eyes that bear the widowhood of days. I’ve seen them all my life. Away from the stones, close to the sea. In the days when striped beach huts were hired, picnic lunches and folding chairs were taken to the sand and the children were learning to swim in the sea, well away, golden little dots appearing in the tides. I can see their whole lives. They used to arrive in the morning and leave when the afternoon came to an end, shaking the sand off their feet. Their faces broken by the sun reach out today to the stones’ muteness. I see them and I walk on: this street is a route far too far away from the sea.
It’s dark. The traffic lights illuminate the clearings. The city is a forest where each man is a model for the meagreness of the vineyards. Slow, they walk along the avenue, vine bodies burnt by the January moonlight. The wind triggers no movement at all, not a single gesture: only twigs lie along the dark overcoat of these cold days. These are no women to be talking to stones. […]  I see them coming up the avenue, their shadows going down it, piercing them like a section of a past to which returning is not denied. Each one separate, divided, two marching selves, walking the streets in opposite directions and none truly knows up to which point they’re allowed to go back.
[…]

Beatriz Hierro Lopes

Translated by Ana Hudson, 2015

http://www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org/Beatriz_Hierro_Lopes

“Beatriz Hierro Lopes was born in Porto. She has a degree in History.
Poetry books since 2000: É quase noite (2013), Espartilho (2015)”

É quase noite.
Mulheres de diferentes idades esperam a chegada de quem as há-de levar. Enquanto esperam, falam às pedras com os olhos que carregam a viuvez dos dias. Vi-as toda a vida. Longe das pedras, junto ao mar. Quando se alugavam barracas listadas, se levava almoço e cadeiras desdobráveis para a areia, os miúdos aprendendo a nadar no mar, distantes delas, sendo só os seus pontinhos dourados, aparecendo entre marés. Vejo-lhes toda a vida. Chegavam de manhã e partiam ao fim da tarde, sacudindo dos pés a areia. Rostos quebrados de sol que hoje convergem até à mudez das pedras. Vejo-as e passo: esta rua é um caminho demasiado distante do mar.
Está escuro. As luzes dos semáforos alumiam as clareiras. A cidade é uma floresta em que cada homem serve de modelo à magreza das videiras. Marcham lentos ao longo da avenida, corpos de vinha queimada pelo luar de Janeiro. Nenhum movimento é despoletado pelo vento, nem um só gesto: só galhos estendidos ao longo do sobretudo negro destes dias frios. Não são mulheres que falem às pedras. São os homens para quem o haver ainda rosto é uma irregularidade que brevemente será suprimida. Uma individualidade que se esgota na divergência entre o andar recto e o andar por dentro. Vejo-os caminhando avenida acima, e as suas sombras caminhando avenida abaixo, atravessando-os como parte de um passado a que não negam regresso. Cada um separado, dividido, dois eus caminhantes, passeando pelas ruas em direcções opostas, sem que alguém saiba verdadeiramente até onde se pode regressar.
Voltar só é possível até um certo ponto. Regressa-se e regressa-se à possibilidade possível, e o que não é possível, o voltar à forma original, embrionária de colo materno, mantém-se na linha questionável deste horizonte que os braços podados das videiras já não podem alcançar. Resta-lhes isto, o corpo metafórico de uma ideia que apenas existe como forma de dizer: — já é noite há tanto tempo.

 

 

 

 

 

#wintersolstice #poem Doors and shutters shut/Keep magic and ghosts/Outside – they belong the dark- They, who celebrate at night

Unease whispers
Through the trees
Leaves do not get reprieve

Hunted struggle
Between light and dark
In this– foreign– time

People seek warmth at a cozy fire
Chase away the cold into the late      hour

Doors and shutters shut
Keep magic and ghosts
Outside – they belong the dark-

They, who celebrate at night

Until the solstice –as light
Recognizes once more
its power

Wil Melker

er waait onrust
in de bomen
bladeren krijgen geen respijt

jachtig strijdt
het licht met donker
in deze vreemde tijd

mensen zoeken warmte
bij een gezellig vuur
verjagen kou tot in het late uur

deuren en gesloten luiken
houden magie en geesten
uit het duister buiten

die ‘s nachts feesten
tot de zonnewende als licht
zijn krachten weer leert kennen

J.C. Bloem, “How notably stiller death is compared to sleep.” #inmemoriam

The rhythm is slightly off, but I think it conveys the mood better.

From: In memoriam

And this stayed with me forever,
How notably stiller death is     comparedto sleep,
That it is a daily marvel to live,
And that we, with every ‘wakeningawaken     as if from death.

Another ending, bit more awkward:

And this stayed with me forever:
How notably stiller death is compared to sleep,
That it is a daily marvel to be alive,
And that we with every ‘wakening    are       resurrected.

“En voor altijd is mij bijgebeleven:
hoe zeer veel stiller dood dan slapen is;
dat het een daaglijks wonder is, te leven,
en elk ontwaken een herrijzenis.”

J.C. Bloem

Geheel:
De blaren vallen in de gele grachten;
Weer keert het najaar en het najaarsweer
Op de aarde, en de donkre harten smachten
Der levenden. Hij ziet het nimmermeer

Hoe had hij dit bemind, die duistre straten
Die atmosfeer van mist en zaligheid,
Wanneer het avond wordt en het verlaten
Plaveisel vochtig is en vreemd en wijd.

Hij was geboren voor de stille dingen,
Waarmee wij leven—maar niet even lang—
waarvan wij ‘t wezen slaken in ons zingen,
Totdat wij zinken, en met ons de zang.

Het was een herfst als nu: de herfsten keren,
maar niet de harten, na hun korten dag;
Wij stonden, wreed van menselijk begeren,
In de ademlooze kamer waar hij lag

En voor altijd is dit mij bijgebleven:
Hoe zeer veel stiller dood dan slapen is;
dat het een dag’lijks wonder is, te leven,
en elk ontwaken een herrijzenis.

Nu weer hervind ik mij in het gewijde
Seizoen, waar de gevallen blaren zijn
Als het veeg zonlicht van een dood getijde
En denk: hoe lang nog leef ik in die schijn?

Wat blijft ons over van dit lange derven,
Dat leven is? Wat dat ik nog begeer?
voor hem en mij een herfst die niet kan sterven;
zon, mist en stilte, en dan voor immermeer.

 

Link

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Translating, I departed from the rhymes and the almost rhymes out of necessity when the english words don’t rhyme and also because I want to show that Slauerhoff played with leaving out parts of speech, much like Joss Whedon encouraged in Buffy and Firefly. I think his play works especially well because the poem is about creating a world that is not there there and which has holes. Some of the loss of almost rhymes is sad because his choice of words was lovely. Learn Dutch!

“They remained as thrown” was the most difficult to translate because in Dutch part of the verb (“waren”=were) is left out but the last word of this line (geworpen=thrown) rhymes with the last word of the poem (dorpen). Anyway. It is a different poem in English. I love how Slauerhoff stops the story. Leaving the rest to our imagination. The whole poem stops and start and restarts at odd moments. How to play with language. When you read it aloud you need to leave space between inside some of the lines. Where depends on how you speak. The alliterations in the poem and inner rhymes are beautiful.

Also: I like he puts down the answer before we ask the question in the second stanza. He makes the lines work for him. Doesn’t let the mind dictate how he tells his story. Pay attention because G-d isn’t.

Third stanza is funny: you expect more but no.

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Dutch: Scheppingsverhaal.

Gods kind had blokken in zijn boezelaar,
Waarmee het in de wolken had gespeeld.
Maar toen zij op wou bergen, moe, verveeld,
Zag ze in de doos en wist niet hoe ze daar

In passen moesten, keurig ingedeeld.
Want God was streng, maar sliep – dus geen gevaar.
Zij liet ze vallen, zag er niet meer naar
Om en ging vlug naar een mooi engelbeeld.

De blokken vielen door een leeg heelal
En kwamen op een leege wereld, waar
Ze bleven zooals ze er heen geworpen.

De meeste sprongen stuk tot berg en dal.
En die heel bleven vormden hier en daar
De groote steden en de kleine dorpen.

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar
From: Verzamelde gedichten
Publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1990.