THE BATS (“Os Morcegos”)
Translated by Kerry Shawn Keyes
Bats hide in the eaves of the customs house.
But where do the men hide who also fly
their whole lives in the dark,
bumping against white walls of Love?
Our father´s house was full of bats
hanging like lanterns from the old rafters
that supported the roof threatened by the rain.
“These children such our blood”, my father would sigh.
What na Will throw the first Stone at that mammal
who, like himself, is nourished by the blood of animals
(my brother! my brother!) and, banded together, demands
the sweat of this kind even in the dark?
Man hides on the halo of a breast as Young as the night;
on the down of his pillow, in the lamp light
man watches over the golden coins of his love.
But the bat, sleeping like a pendulum, only safeguards the offended day.
When He died, our father left us (myself and my eight brothers)
his house wher it rained at night through the broken tiles.
We redeemed the loan and saved the bats.
Now they wrangle between the walls: blind like us.
(Extraído de la revista POESIA SEMPRE - Ano3 Número 5 Fevereiro 1995 p. 26
( Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Biblioteca Nacional)
Translated by KCS Tolentino
Lêdo Ivo was bom in 1924 in Maceio, Alagoas. He studied in Recife and at the age of nineteen moved to Rio de janeiro definitively. As well as writing poems and novels, he worked as a journalist. In 1986, he was elected to the Academia Brasileira de Letras. He had close friendship with Manuel Bandeira and José Lins do Rego and vas very influenced by Jean-Arthur Rimbaud. He is an important member of the anti-modernist "Generation of 1945".
" While he considers himself an inspired poet, Lêdo Ivo is, above all, dedicated to the form and craft of poetry. The poems below are all taken from Antologia Poética de Lêdo Ivo.
KCS Tolentino was born in San Francisco, California. She lives in São Paulo, Brazil and works as a teacher and translator.
On the floor of my childhood
I'll find everything I've lost:
the blue cloak, the picture book,
the photograph of the dead brother
and that cold mouth of yours, your cold mouth.
The blue cloak on the floor of my childhood
covers objects and hallucinations.
A blue cloak, the deepest of blues
found nevermore, for
such a blue exists no longer.
And to all of you, pure or fallen
virgins in winter, so abhorrent in summer,
1 ask of you this deep blue:
cover me with this cloak on my dying day.
When 1 am dying, you can all be sure
a blue cloak, the deepest of blues,
will envelop the whole of me, from head to toe.
Bats are hidden within crevices
of the customhouse. But where
is man hidden, he who spends his life in dark flight,
clashing up against the white wall of love?
Our father's house was full of bats,
hanging like chandeliers from ancient rafters
sustaining tile roofs threatened by the rain.
"These children suck away at our blood", my father sighed.
Which man will throw the first stone at this mammal
who, like him, feeds on the blood of other animals
(my brother, my brother!) and thus attuned demands
the sweat of his companions, even in darkness?
Within the halo of a breast, young as the night,
a man hides; in the silky cotton of his pillow, amid glaring lights
he guards the golden coins of his love.
But the bat, sleeping pendulum, guards only the disdained day.
Upon dying, our father left us (my eight siblings and me)
his house, where at night rain poured through broken tiles.
We took out a mortgage and maintained the bats.
And within those walls they fluster; shared blindness.
The Onset of Summer
Thus summer begins: flies buzz
and stones glimmer
and the murmurs of the world are with us
like dunes and mirages.
And then at nightfall
day becomes that untouchable
naked breast, rival to the sun now gone.
And crickets sing. And trains pass.
Life, honeyless bee, buzzes at dawn.
And flies hover over bodies,
humidly fragrant with summer.
And in the fields, early morning fires crackle.
Sonnet to Time
Because it is time, for me, it is not all,
even as it flows, singing along the riverbanks
of this life made of water that hauls
it to the blundered voyage and takes
everything within its confusion, leaving
time found, lost. Just as the source
is lost upon existing and flows, singing
between stones and woods in its course.
Quadrant of reality, oh ancient mirror
of days when, leaning over you, I spy
myself the same and different, younger, older,
a dream I resemble in my desire.
And time, fallen eternity,
my contemporary in its vitality.
The Job of Living
I always go beyond myself
with you reversed, oh verse.
All that isn't born in me
and the mask, more honest
than my face, takes over
my terrestrial symbols.
Imagination! Your veil
envelops humble objects
that shimmer m the shadows.
Vestibule of the inexpressible,
poetry, you are like meat,
existence lies behind you.
And words are coins.
With them we buy everything,
trees born in space
and the ocean we cannot hear,
tangible shapes of a body
and the earth where we do not walk.
If to invent is my destiny,
I invent and invent myself. I sing.
To Whom It May Concern
All themes are equal
and weigh the same when put in balance.
The child´s cry and the extinguished light,
my love and the clamour of committees,
the savings and the waste,
the whiteness of the weeding sheets
and the red wine stain on linens
— all becomes equal
on the battlefield.
From: MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION. New Series / No. 6 / Winter 1994-95. Special Feature: Modern Poetry from Brazil. Published by King´s College London.
University of London. Edited by Daniel Weissbort
Página ampliada e republicada em agosto de 2008; ampliada e republicada em set. 2009
Brazilian poetry in English - Brazilian poets - poems