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ASTRID CABRAL

MARIO FAUSTINO

MARIO FAUSTINO
(1930-1962)


The poetry of Mario Faustino (1930-1962) is a complex mixture of different aspects of the same reality: love and death; the spiritual and the carnal; the classical and the modern; the formal and the informal. The poet will try to order the often antagonistic elements in order to understand the world. Faustino also believed that the poet should try to recover  the primitive incantatory power of poetry and that poetry should be important to contemporary man. These were views that  he put across in his important “Poetry Experience” page in the Jornal do Brasil from 1956 to 1959. Faustino´s life was cut short by a tragic air crash in Peru.

(From Modern Poetry in Translation. New Series, No. 6 /Winter 1994-95. Special Feature: Modern Poetry from Brazil)

Translation by John Milton


Where will the restarted song hover

Where will the restarted song hover
On the acanthus column of your home?
Where goes on the dance that´s over
On the tiles of my weeping time?
Boy, with sand in my full hands
I count missing stars on the horizon
Of the hiccoughing sand
Where rides the froth of your end, sourceless tears.
Oh youth, canopy of innocence
Will never  be spread over another dawn
Clearer  than this  clear adolescence
Where the brothel of the night devours today.
What´s the impure scarf of the elegy worth
On your face, lucid happiness?

 

A mis soledades voy*

 Night, night after night, another night
 Came to remind me of the beauty each
 Night thinking of the ulcers of the lashes
Of the sun on my shoulders. Night inherited
From ancestral nights. A golden chain
Of moon linked to moon, star
Joined to star… The clear web
Fished the loneliness of the dream
For the glory of the sparkling find of this
Liquid night. Strange, strange feast
In which you make me drink, burning night:
Shrouds in the east, and in the west
Bonfires of joy…
                      Hard luck,
To have to leave death for another night.

*(Title in Spanish: “I go to my loneliness”)


Carpe Diem

What shall I do with this day that adores me?
Pull it by the tail, before the
Crimson hour when if sneaks from my feast?
Or put it into music, into lines,
Engrave it in stone, to be smoothed by the sun?
Best where to keep it, and one such day
It would now be leaving a tremendous night,
Brought to bed the night before,
Made a slave of the woman from whom it had fled
Through me, my lyre and voice.

But already I see it covered in shadows,
So deaf to the dream of staying – so noble:
Already the light of death — the moon — is living.
It is going away — made of betrayal.


The world I conquered gave me a love

The world I conquered gave me a love,
A dangerous trophy, this steed
Loaded with armoured princes.
The world I conquered gave a love
Winged and galloping in angry skies
Over any wall of creed,
Over any ditch of sex.
The world I conquered gave a love,
Love made of curses and tears and laughs,
Love to force the gates of hell,
Love to leap  the peak of heaven,
Love that sleeps and shivers, that wakes
And turns against me, devours
And chews on me in songs of victory…



I don´t want to love the fleshless arm


I don´t want to love the fleshless arm
That hides in my arm or the silent
Breast that is placed at may side
Where a changed being throbs with fright.
In the present vision of past years,
In the future with no time to care,
In time with no rhythm to transfer
I reject the dead that lies in me.
I want to give myself to the living being that sweats
Afraid of losing myself while here I lie
Red with life and the death in which I lie
In the light of the fiery, grave full moon
Which, if Death calls “Mário” out loud,
It embraces me shivering in my shroud.

 

Inferno, eternal winter

Inferno, eternal winter, I want to give
Your name to the nameless pain
Of this sunless day, fireless sky, beachless sea,
Spume of the soul at the edge of agony.
Inferno, eternal winter, I want to look
Right into the burning gorge of the elegy,
Autumn and purgatory, climate and home
Of the silent dream, still and cold.
Winter, your inferno doesn´t bring me
More than the hard image of the final judgemenr
With which the loquacious beauty
Of your granite verbs confounds me.
Celestial mask, where the fleeting
Summer of your laughter — paradise?

=========================================================================

The folowing poems are from:  BRAZILIAN POETRY 1950-1980.  Edited by Emanuel Brasil and William Jay Smith.   Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1983.   187 p
ISBN  0-8195-5075-2 cloth   0-8195-6083-0 paper
Here you can find some other Mario Faustino´s poems:  Sinto que o Mes Presente me assassina / This month will kill me I feel it; Juventude -/ Youth; Cavossonante Escudo Nosso / Our Hollow-sounding Shield; Moritorus Salutat; Ariazul /Blue Aria.

 



Prefácio

 

Quem fez esta manhã, quem penetrou

À noite os labirintos do tesouro,

Quem fez esta manhã predestinou

Seus temas a paráfrases do touro,

A traduções do cisne: fê-la para

Abandonar-se a mitos essenciais,

Desflorada por ímpetos de rara

Metamorfose alada, onde jamais

Se exaure o deus que muda, que transvive.

Quem fez esta manhã fê-la por ser

Um raio a fecundá-la, não por lívida

Ausência sem pecado e fê-la ter

Em si principio e fim: ter entre aurora

E meio-dia um homem e sua hora.

 

 

Preface

 

Who made this morning, who fathomed

The labyrinths of treasure in the night,

Who made this morning predestined

Its text to paraphrases of Taurus

And translations of Cygnus: made it

To be consumed by vital myths,

Deflowered by impulses of a rare

Winged metamorphosis in which the god,

Changing, and living transformed, never tires.

Who made this morning made it so as to be

A ray that could penetrate it, not a pale

Sinless absence, and made it with

Beginning and end in itself: between daybreak

And noon a man and his hour.

 

  Translated by Richard Zenith

 

=======================================================================


Vida Toda Linguagem

 

Vida toda linguagem,

frase perfeita sempre, talvez verso,

geralmente sem qualquer adjetivo,

coluna sem ornamento, geralmente partida.

Vida toda linguagem,

há entretanto um verbo, um verbo sempre, e um nome

aqui, ali, assegurando a perfeição

eterna do período, talvez verso,

talvez interjetivo, verso, verso.

Vida toda linguagem,

feto sugando em língua compassiva

o sangue que criança espalhará — oh metáfora ativa!

leite jorrado em fonte adolescente,

sêmen de homens maduros, verbo, verbo.

Vida toda linguagem,

bem o conhecem velhos que repetem,

contra negras janelas, cintilantes imagens

que lhes estrelam turvas trajetórias.

Vida toda linguagem —

como todos sabemos

conjugar esses verbos, nomear

esses nomes:

                   amar, fazer, destruir,

homem, mulher e besta, diabo e anjo

e deus talvez, e nada.

Vida toda linguagem,

vida sempre perfeita,

imperfeitos somente os vocábulos mortos

com que um homem jovem, nos terraços do inverno, contra a chuva,

tenta fazê-la eterna—como se lhe faltasse

outra, imortal sintaxe

à vida que é perfeita

                                língua

                                            eterna.

 

 

Life Nothing but Language

 

Life nothing but language,

an always perfect phrase, perhaps verse,

generally without any adjectives,

an unornamented column, generally split.

Life nothing but language,

but there is a word, always a word, and a name

here, there, insuring the eternal

perfection of the period, perhaps verse,

perhaps interjection, verse, verse.

Life nothing but language,

fetus sucking up with compassionate tongue

the blood which child will splatter— oh busy metaphor!

milk spurting in adolescent spring,

semen of mature men, word, word.

Life nothing but language,

as the old ones know, who repeat,

against black windows, scintillating images

that spangle their overcast trajectories.

Life nothing but language —

                                            we all know how

to conjugate those verbs, name

those names:

                     to love, to make, to destroy,

man, woman and beast, devil and angel

and god perhaps, and nothing.

Life nothing but language,

life always perfect,

only the dead words imperfect,

words with which a young man, in winter's terraces, against the rain,

tries to make it eternal — as if he were missing

another, immortal syntax

for the life that is perfect

                                      eternal

                                                 language.

 

Translated by Richard Zenith

 

 


 

 

 


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