quarta-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2012

Chega perto, mar.

Por vezes chega, repentina,
uma hora em que o teu desumano coração
nos assusta e do nosso se separa.
Da minha a tua música discorda,
então, e é meu inimigo todo o teu desafio.
Sobre mim me dobro pois, vazio
de forças, a tua voz parece surda.
Detenho-me sobre o pedregal
que em direcção a ti se estende
até à escarpada margem que te domina,
quebrada, amarela, sulcada
de charcos de água da chuva.
A minha vida é este declive seco,
meio e não fim, caminho aberto à foz
dos regatos, lento desmoronamento.
É também esta planta
que nasce da devastação
e na face recebe os golpes do mar e está suspensa
entre as erráticas forças dos ventos.
Este bocado de solo sem verdura
abriu-se para que uma margarida aí nascesse.
Com ela hesito junto ao mar que me fustiga,
falta ainda o silêncio na minha vida.
Olho a terra que cintila,
o ar é tão sereno que é sem cor.
E isto que em mim cresce
é talvez o rancor
que todo o filho, ó mar, tem pelo pai.

Eugenio Montale, Poesia, Assírio e Alvim, José Manuel de Vasconcelos (trad.), 2004.

sábado, 22 de dezembro de 2012

your heart

[i carry your heart with me (i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings, Complete Poems: 1904-1962, George J. Firmage (ed.), Liveright, 1994.

quarta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2012

A daylight art

for Norman MacCaig

On the day he was to take the poison
Socrates told his friends he had been writing:
putting Aesop's fables into verse.

And this was not because Socrates loved wisdom
and advocated the examined life.
The reason was that he had had a dream.

Caesar, now, or Herod or Constantine
or any number of Shakespearean kings
bursting at the end like dams

where original panoramas lie submerged
which have to rise again before the death scenes -
you can believe in their believing dreams.

But hardly Socrates. Until, that is,
he tells his friends the dream had kept recurring
all his life, repeating one instruction:

Practise the art, which art until that moment
he always took to mean philosophy.
Happy the man, therefore, with a natural gift

for practising the right one from the start -
poetry, say, or fishing, whose nights are dreamless;
whose deep-sunk panoramas rise and pass

like daylight through the rod's eye or the nib's eye.

Seamus HeaneyThe Haw Lantern, Faber & Faber, 1987 (reset 2006).

terça-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2012

The Haw Lantern

The wintry haw is burning out of season,
crab of the thorn, a small light for small people,
wanting no more from them but what they keep
the wick of self-respect from dying out,
not having to blind them with illumination.

But sometimes when your breath plumes in the frost
it takes the roaming shape of Diogenes
with his lantern, seeking one just man;
so you end up scrutinized from behind the haw,
he holds up at eye-level on its twig,
and you flinch before its bonded pith and stone,
its blood-prick that you wish would test and clear you,
its pecked-at ripeness that scans you, then moves on.

Seamus Heaney, The Haw Lantern, Faber & Faber, 1987 (reset 2006)

quarta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2012

"absence is the highest form of presence"

The man continued his monologue. He seemed to have forgotten his recent liberalism. He said that if ever he found a boy talking to girls or having a girl for a sweetheart he would whip him and whip him; and that would teach him not to be talking to girls. And if a boy had a girl for a sweetheart and told lies about it then he would give him such a whipping as no boy ever got in this world. He said that there was nothing in this world he would like so well as that. He described to me how he would whip such a boy as if he were unfolding some elaborate mystery. He would love that, he said, better than anything in this world; and his voice, as he led me monotonously through the mystery, grew almost affectionate and seemed to plead with me that I should understand him.

James Joyce, Dubliners, An Encounter.


IPHIDAMAS a big ambitious boy
At the age of eighteen at the age of restlessness
His family crippled him with love
They gave him a flute and told him to amuse himself
In his grandfather’s sheep‐nibbled fields
That didn’t work they gave him a bride
Poor woman lying in her new name alone
She said even on his wedding night
He seemed to be wearing armour
He kept yawning and looking far away
And by the next morning he’d vanished
Arrogant farmhand fresh from the fields
He went straight for Agamemnon
Aiming for the soft bit under the breastplate
And leaning in pushing all his violence
All his crazy impatience into the thrust
But he couldn’t quite break through the belt‐metal
Against all that silver the spear‐tip
Simply bent like lead and he lost
Poor Iphidamas now he is only iron
Sleeping its iron sleep poor boy
Who fought for Helen for his parents’ town
Far from his wife all that money wasted
A hundred cattle he gave her
A thousand sheep and goats
All that hard work feeding them wasted
Grief is black it is made of earth
It gets into the cracks in the eyes
It lodges its lump in the throat
When a man sees his brother on the ground
He goes mad he comes running out of nowhere
Lashing without looking and that was how COON died
First he wounded Agamemnon
Then he grabbed his brother’s stiffened foot
And tried to drag him home shouting
Help for god’s sake this is Iphidamas
Someone please help but Agamemnon
Cut off his head and that was that
Two brothers killed on the same morning by the same man
That was their daylight here finished
And their long nightshift in the underworld just beginning
Like when two winds want a wood
The south wind and the east wind
Both pull at the trees’ arms
And the sound of smooth‐skinned cornel whipping to and fro
And oak and ash batting long sticks together
Is a word from another world
Like when two winds want a wood
The south wind and the east wind
Both pull at the trees’ arms
And the sound of smooth‐skinned cornel whipping to and fro
And oak and ash batting long sticks together
Is a word from another world

Alice Oswald, Memorial, Faber & Faber, 2011

terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2012

Like everyone else

And Hector died like everyone else
He was in charge of the Trojans
But a spear found out the little patch of white
Between his collarbone and his throat
Just exactly where a man’s soul sits
Waiting for the mouth to open
He always knew it would happen
He who was so boastful and anxious
And used to nip home deafened by weapons
To stand in full armour in the doorway
Like a man rushing in leaving his motorbike running
All women loved him
His wife was Andromache
One day he looked at her quietly
He said I know what will happen
And an image stared at him of himself dead
And her in Argos weaving for some foreign woman
He blinked and went back to his work
Hector loved Andromache
But in the end he let her face slide from his mind
He came back to her sightless
Strengthless expressionless
Asking only to be washed and burned
And his bones wrapped in soft cloths
And returned to the ground

Alice Oswald, Memorial, Faber & Faber, 2011

a morte fica-lhe bem

"Did he... peacefully?" she asked.
"Oh, quite peacefully, ma'am," said Eliza. "You couldn't tell when the breath went out of him. He had a beautiful death, God be praised."
"And everything...?"
"Father O'Rourke was in with him a Tuesday and anointed him and prepared him and all."
"He knew then?"
"He was quite resigned."
"He looks quite resigned," said my aunt.
"That's what the woman we had in to wash him said. She said he just looked as if he was asleep, he looked that peaceful and resigned. No one would think he'd make such a beautiful corpse."

James Joyce, Dubliners, The Sisters

segunda-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2012

pequenas memórias

The reading of the card persuaded me that he was dead and I was disturbed to find myself at check. Had he not been dead I would have gone into the little dark room behind the shop to find him sitting in his arm-chair by the fire, nearly smothered in his great-coat. Perhaps my aunt would have given me a packet of High Toast for him and this present would have roused him from his stupefied doze. It was always I who emptied the packet into his black snuff-box for his hands trembled too much to allow him to do this without spilling half the snuff about the floor. Even as he raised his large trembling hand to his nose little clouds of smoke dribbled through his fingers over the front of his coat. It may have been these constant showers of snuff which gave his ancient priestly garments their green faded look for the red handkerchief, blackened, as it always was, with the snuff-stains of a week, with which he tried to brush away the fallen grains, was quite inefficacious. 

James Joyce, Dubliners, The Sisters.

quarta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2012

O arauto

وأبْـخَـرَ قَصَّ حَديثاً له     فَقالَ الحضورُ:  فَسا ذا الحَدَث
فَقُلْتُ لَهُم: بادِروا بِالقيامِ     فَإنَّ الفُساءَ نَذيرُ الحَدَث

Um tipo com mau hálito falou,     e disseram os presentes: – E não é que ele bufou!
E disse-lhes eu: –  Depressa, fugi!     É que bufa é o arauto da merda!

Ibn Ṣâra de Santarém (1043-1123)

terça-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2012

All truths wait in all things

  The mask is something put on, something external. As a physical object it remains quite distinct from the man who wears it. He feels on him as something foreign, something which never wholly becomes part of himself; it hinders and constricts him. As long as he wears he is two things, himself and the mask. The more often he has worn and the better he knows it, the more of himself will flow into the figure it represents. But there is always one part of him which necessarily remains separate from it : the part that fears discovery, the part which knows that the terror he spreads is not his due. The secret he represents to those who see the mask from outside must also have an effect on himself inside it, but it clearly cannot be the same effect. They are afraid of the unknown; he is afraid of being unmasked. It is this fear which prevents him abandoning himself completely to the mask. His transformation can go a very long way, but it is never complete. The mask is a limit set to transformation. Because it can be torn away, its wearer is bound to fear for it. He must take care that he does not lose it; it must never be dropped and must never open. He feels every kind of anxiety about what may happen to it. Besides playing a part in his transformation, the mask is also a weapon or a tool which its wearer has to handle. He must manipulate it, remaining his everyday self, and, at the same time, must change into it as a performer. While he wears the mask he is thus two people and must remain two during the whole of his performance.

Elias Canetti, Masse und Macht, trad. Carol Stewart, Continuum, 1978.

segunda-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2012


Still he felt nothing. Only the tautness of the muscles in his forearm where all the veins were puffed and thickened, and his toes  where they gripped the platform of the car. Only the humming of the air, and its scorching touch as it eddied round and past him.
He was waiting for the rage to fill him that would be equal at last to the outrage he was commiting. That would assuage his grief, and be so convincing to the witnesses of his barbaric spectacle that he might too believe there was a living man at the centre of it, and that man himself.

David Malouf, Ransom, Vintage, 2010

domingo, 2 de dezembro de 2012

Decálogo III

O nosso sofrimento agrava-se confrontado com a felicidade dos outros.

sábado, 1 de dezembro de 2012

the beating

Rubashov stood stiffly between the bed and the bucket, held his breath, and waited for the first scream. He remembered that the first scream, in which terror still predominated over physical pain, was usually the worst; what followed was already more bearable, one got used to it and after a time one could even draw conclusions on the method of torture from the tone and rhythm of the screams. Towards the end, most people behaved in the same way, however different they were in temperament and voice: the screams became weaker, changed over into whining and choking. Usually the door would slam soon after. The keys would jangle again; and the first scream of the next victim often came even before they had touched him, at the mere sight of the men in the doorway. 

Arthur KoestlerDarkness At Noon, Bantam Books, 1966. 

terça-feira, 27 de novembro de 2012

concertinas, arrecadas, romarias e o mar logo ali

e eu, que nunca fui à Galiza, que nunca na vida subi acima de Alcobaça, a empatá-lo, consoante o cavalheiro me ordenou, Claro que sim, bichano, a Galiza é mais ou menos como o Minho, tudo muito verde, concertinas, arrecadas, romarias e o mar logo ali, nos dias de folga entretens-te com as cegonhas, garanto-te que o que não falta são cegonhas, cada chaminé tem uma, de joelho no ar, e ele, fascinado, a suspender a colher da sobremesa, Ai sim?

António Lobo Antunes, Tratado das paixões da alma

segunda-feira, 26 de novembro de 2012

Dá-me licença?

He remained leaning against the door for a few seconds, and lit a cigarette. On the bed to his right lay two fairly clean blankets, and the straw mattress looked newly filled. The wash-basin to his left had no plug, but the tap functioned. The can next to it had been freshly disinfected, it did not smell. The walls on both sides were of solid brick, which would stifle the sound of tapping, but where the heating and drain pipe penetrated it, it had been plastered and resounded quite well; besides, the heating pipe itself seemed to be noise-conducting. The window started at eye-level; one could see down into the courtyard without having to pull oneself up by the bars. So far everything was in order. 

Arthur Koestler, Darkness At Noon, Bantam Books, 1966. 

domingo, 25 de novembro de 2012

Variation on a theme of Wallace Stevens

If I switch off the light
I would see him out in the yard,
tending a fire by the hedge,
raking the windfalls and leaves
from a different year,

a ghost in his smoke-coloured shirt
with his back to the house,
my double, from his looks: same age, same build,
the same clenched rage in his arms,
the same bright fear,

and I would be with him, looking at the dark,
but missing what he sees, or thinks he sees:
the sudden night, the blur of wind and rain,
the shadow in the woods that matched him
with nothing that is, and the nothing that is not there.

John Burnside, The Myth of the Twin, Cape Poetry, 1994

sexta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2012

um pouco de jazz

Poema seleccionado e enviado pelo autor, poeta emergente no mundo árabe, para eu traduzir "e publicar onde quiser".

um pouco de jazz
Najwan Darwish

ó tu, cônsul negro de uma civilização branca como uma mortalha
ó tu, cônsul branco de uma civilização de carvão
haverá uma cor terceira com quem eu possa falar?
ou devemos implorar-te, como criadas bem educadas, para nos permitires viajarmos,
o que fazer para que te agradem estas caras que o Senhor traçou?
ou dançaremos nós diante das embaixadas a noite toda, acenderemos nós um fogo à maneira das tribus zulu?
ou quereis que nos deitemos com as vossas velhas para provarmos as nossas boas intenções?
ou assinamos os contratos de inocência da História
ou desinfectamos a memória com Dettol
ou queimamos o livro “Orientalismo” e as nossas mães “atrasadas” – com gasolina – e rimos.
ou tocamos um pouco de jazz para a tua mulher?

ó tu, cônsul
as nossas caras derreteram e nós para cá e para lá e estamos perante os teus olhos perscrutadores e as tuas experientes secretárias, mais excelentes que cães-polícia...
estas caras cujos traços apagastes com as vossas tendências experimentais perseguir-vos-ão em pesadelos durante sete gerações pelo menos

ó tu, cônsul
este poema perseguir-te-á a ti em particular.

Najwân Darwîsh
Tradução do árabe: André Simões

قليل من الجاز

نجوان درويش

أَيها القُنْصل الأَسود لِحَضارةٍ بيضاءَ كالكَفَن
أَيها القنصل الأبيض لحضارة مِن الفَحْم
أَما مِنْ لونٍ ثالثٍ أَتحدّث إليه؟
أَينبغي أَن نَضْرَع مثل خادمات مؤدّبات لتسمحوا لنا بالسَّفر
ماذا نصنع لكي تعجبكم وجوهنا التي رسمها الربّ؟
أَنرقص أَمام السفارات طوال الليل ونُشْعل ناراً مثل قبائل الزولو
أَتريدون أَن نضاجع عجائزكم لِـــنُـــــــثْبِتَ حُسْنَ نوايانا؟
أَنوقِّع صكوك براءةٍ من التاريخ
أَنعقِّم الذاكرة بالديتول
أَنحرق كتاب "الاستشراق" وأُمهاتنا "المتخلِّفات" ـــــ بالكازـــــ ونحن نضحك.
أَنعزف لزوجك قليلاً من الجاز؟
أَيها القنصل
وجوهنا ذابت ونحن نروح ونجئ أَمام عيونك الفاحصة وسكرتيراتك المدرَّبات أَفضل من كلاب الشرطة...

هذه الوجوه التي طمستم ملامحها بِنزعتكم التجريـبـية ستطاردكم في الكوابيس لسبعة أَجيال على الأقل.

أَيها القنصل
هذه القصيدة ستطاردك أَنت بالذات.

quinta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2012


- Em casas velhas há quartos que as pessoas esqueceram, sabem vocês? - perguntava o meu pai. - Abandonados há meses vão fenecendo entre paredes e chegam a fechar-se sobre si próprios, a cobrir-se de tijolos e a perder aos poucos a vida, uma vez que irremediavelmente perdidos para a nossa memória. As portas que os servem abrem-se ao patamar de uma escura escada de serviço e durante tanto tempo podem escapar à observação dos habitantes, que se enfiam dentro das paredes e vão apagar aí os seus vestígios, confundidas numa rede de fendas e fissuras. 

Bruno SchulzAs Lojas de Canela, Assírio & Alvim, 1987.

sábado, 17 de novembro de 2012

Rainy Night

Something about the hiss of a taxi
cruising an empty street,
its foggy yellow light
skidding off piles of black bin-liners
is trying to let me know
this isn't my night.

Something about the look of your front door
its familiar fanlight star
picked out in black
ts trying to get through me
that you and I
have turnerd some sort of corner.

Rain off the river, mixed with the smell
of pavements in summer,
is trying to let me down lightly,
I stand on the step
while the sound of your doorbell
echoes down the hall.

Hugo Williams, Billy's Rain, Faber & Faber, 1999

quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2012

Untitled (Black on Grey)

A noite de ontem. 

Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth

Submete-te à prova da humanidade.
Ela faz duvidar os que duvidam e faz acreditar os que acreditam.

Franz Kafka, Meditações.

A cidade e os olhos 

É o humor de quem a olha que dá à cidade de Zemrude a sua forma. Se passarmos por ela a assobiar, de nariz no ar atrás do assobio, conhecê-la-emos de baixo para cima: sacadas, tendas a ondular, repuxos. Se caminharmos através dela de queixo contra o peito, com as unhas espetadas nas palmas das mãos, os nossos olhares prender-se-ão ao chão, aos regos de água, aos esgotos, às tripas de peixe, ao papel velho. Não se pode dizer que um aspecto da cidade seja mais verdadeiro que o outro, mas da Zemrude de cima ouve-se falar sobretudo a quem se lembra dela afundando-se na Zemrude de baixo, percorrendo todos os dias os mesmos caminhos e reencontrando de manhã o mau humor da véspera incrustrado nas paredes. Para todos mais tarde ou mais cedo chega o dia em que baixaremos os olhos ao longo dos canos dos algerozes e já não conseguiremos afastá-los da calçada. Não está excluído o caso inverso, mas é mais raro: por isso continuamos a andar pelas ruas de Zemrude com os olhos que agora já escavam por baixo das caves, dos alicerces, dos poços.

Italo Calvino, As Cidades Invisíveis.

sexta-feira, 9 de novembro de 2012

A reler

No mês de Julho o meu pai partia para águas e deixava-nos, à minha mãe, ao meu irmão mais velho e a mim, entregues aos dias de Verão de uma brancura de fogo, que inebriavam. Tontos de luz folheávamos o grande livro das férias que em todas as folhas cintilava de sol e conservava no mais fundo de si mesmo, com uma doçura que atingia o êxtase, a polpa das pêras douradas.

Bruno Schulz, As Lojas de Canela, Assírio & Alvim, 1987.

quarta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2012

 Fiquei a observar esta simplicidade. Pensei, com segurança, em voz alta: "Isto é mesmo de há trinta anos atrás". (...) Senti-me morto, senti-me percebedor abstracto do mundo: indefinido terror imbuído de ciência, que é a melhor clareza da metafísica. Não acreditei, não, ter remontado às presumíveis águas do Tempo; antes me suspeitei possuidor do sentido reticente ou ausente da inconcebível palavra eternidade. Só depois consegui definir esta imaginação.
   Escrevo-o agora, assim: esta pura representação de factos homogénos - noite em serenidade, ar límpido, cheiro provinciano da madressilva, barro fundamental - não é simplesmente idêntica à que houve nessa mesma esquina há anos; sem parecenças nem repetições, é a mesma. O tempo, se pudermos intuir esta identidade, é uma desilusão: bastam para o desintregar a indiferença e inseparabilidade de um momento do seu aparente ontem e de outro momento do seu aparente hoje.
   É evidente que o número desses momentos humanos não é infinito. Os elementares - os de sofrimento físico e de gozo físico, os de aproximação do sonho, os da audição de uma música, os de muita intensidade ou de grande apatia - são mais impessoais ainda. Faço derivar de antemão esta conclusão: a vida é demasiado pobre para não ser também imortal. Mas nem sequer temos a segurança da nossa pobreza, visto que o tempo, facilmente refutável no sensitivo, não o é também no intelectual, de cuja essência parece inseparável o conceito de sucessão.

Jorge Luis Borges, História da Eternidade, trad. José Colaço Barreiros, Quetzal, 2012.

domingo, 4 de novembro de 2012


Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream.

Shakespeare. Julius Caesar. 2.1 63-65

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

T.S. Eliot. The Hollow Men. V

Blitz und Donner brauchen Zeit, das Licht der Gestirne braucht Zeit, Thaten brauchen Zeit, auch nachdem sie gethan sind, um gesehen und gehört zu werden.

Relâmpago e Trovão precisam de tempo, a luz dos astros precisa de tempo, os actos precisam de tempo, mesmo depois de terem sido executados, para serem vistos e ouvidos.

Nietzsche. Die fröhliche Wissenschaft 124. Tradução minha.

sexta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2012

Decálogo I

 "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other God but me."


وَبَشَّرَ بِالصُّبْحِ بَرْدُ النَّسيمِ     وسُكْرُ النَديمِ وضُعْفُ السِّراجِ

anunciam a alvorada o fresco da brisa
e a bebedeira de um amigo e o morrer da lâmpada

Ibn âra de Santarém (1043-1123)


Akhmatova was translating Macbeth in the early '30s
(a time she called "the vegetarian years" to distinguish
its charm from "the meat-eating years" still ahead).
For a poem in which he likened Stalin's fingers to worms
Osip Mandelstam was arrested in May 1934. All night
the police searched his papers and threw them out on the floor
to the sound of an ukelele
from the next apartment.
Akhmatova never finished Macbeth although
she liked to quote her hero saying people
in my homeland die faster than
the flowers on their hats.

Anne Carson, Men in the Off Hours, Cape Poetry, 2000.

quarta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2012

domingo, 28 de outubro de 2012

Well it is a long rest. Feel no more. It's the moment you feel. Must be damned unpleasant. Can't believe it at first. Mistake must be: someone else. Try the house opposite. Wait, I wanted to. I haven't yet. Then darkened deathchamber. Light they want. Whispering around you. Would you like to see a priest? Then rambling and wandering. Delirium all you hid all your life. The death struggle. His sleep is not natural. Press his lower eyelid. Watching is his nose pointed is his jaw sinking are the soles of his feet yellow. Pull the pillow away and finish it off on the floor since he's doomed. Devil in that picture of sinner's death showing him a woman. Dying to embrace her in his shirt. Last act of Lucia. Shall I nevermore behold thee? Bam! expires. Gone at last. People talk about you a bit: forget you. Don't forget to pray for him. Remember him in your prayers. Even Parnell. Ivy day dying out. Then they follow: dropping into a hole one after the other.

James Joyce, Ulysses.

segunda-feira, 22 de outubro de 2012

Irene era una chica nacida para no molestar a nadie. Aparte de su actividad matinal se pasaba el resto del día tejiendo en el sofá de su dormitorio. No sé por qué tejía tanto, yo creo que las mujeres tejen cuando han encontrado en esa labor el gran pretexto para no hacer nada. Irene no era así, tejía cosas siempre necesarias, tricotas para ele invierno, medias para mí, mañanitas y chalecos para ella. A veces tejía un chaleco y después lo destejía en un momento porque algo no le agradaba; era gracioso ver en la canastilla el montón de lana encrespada resistiéndose a perder su forma de algunas horas. Los sábados iba yo al centro a comprarle lana; Irene tenía fe en mi gusto, se complacía con los colores y nunca tuve que devolver madejas. Yo aprovechaba esas salidas para dar una vuelta por las librerías y preguntar vanamente si había novedades en literatura francesa. Desde 1939 no llegaba nada valioso a Argentina.

Julio Cortázar, Casa tomada

quarta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2012

Commune présence

Tu es pressé d'écrire,
comme si tu étais en retard sur la vie.
S'il en est ainsi fais cortège à tes sources.
Hâte-toi de transmettre
ta part de merveilleux de rébellion de bienfaisance.
Effectivement tu es en retard sur la vie,
la vie inexprimable,
la seule en fin de compte à laquelle tu acceptes de
celle qui t'es refusée chaque jour par les êtres et par
   les choses,
dont tu obtiens péniblement de-ci de-là quelques
   fragments décharnés
au bout de combats sans merci.
Hors d'elle, tout n'est qu'agonie soumise, fin grossière.
Si tu rencontres la mort durant ton labeur,
reçois-là comme la nuque en sueur trouve bon le
   mouchoir aride,
en t'inclinant.
Si tu veux rire,
offre ta soumission,
jamais tes armes.
Tu as été créé pour des moments peu communs.
Modifie-toi, disparais sans regret
au gré de la rigueur suave.
Quartier suivant quartier la liquidation du monde se
sans interruption
sans égarement.

Essaime la poussière.
Nul ne décèlera votre union.

René Char, Commune présence: choix de poèmes, Éditions Gallimard, 1964.

terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012

Kind Valentine

She hugs a white rose to her heart—
The petals flare—in her breath, blown;
She'll catch the fruit on her death day—
The flower rooted in the bone.
The face at evening comes for love;
Reeds in the river meet below.
She sleeps, small child, her face a tear;
The dream comes in with stars to go
Into the window, feigning snow.
This is the book that no one knows.
This papered wall holds mythic oaks,
Behind the oaks a castle grows.
Over the door, and over her
(She dies! She wakes!) the seeds gallop.
The child stirs, hits the dumb air, weeps,
Afraid of night's long loving-cup.

Into yourself, live, live, Joanne!
And count the buttons—how they run
To doctor, red chief, lady's man!
Most softly pass, on the stairs down,
The stranger in your evening gown.
Hearing white, inside your grief,
And insane laughter up the roof.
O little wind, come in with dawn—
It is your shadows on the lawn.

Break the pot! and let carnations—
Smell them! they're the very first.
Break the sky, and let come magic
Rain! Let earth come pseudo-tragic
Roses—blossom, unrehearsed.
Head, break! is broken. Dream, so small,
Come in to her. O little child,
Dance on the squills where the winds run wild.

The candles rise in the warm night
Back and forth, the tide is bright.
Slowly, slowly, the waves retreat
Under her wish and under feet.
And over tight breath, tighter eyes,
The mirror ebbs, it ebbs and flows.
And the intern, the driver, speed
To gangrene! But—who knows—suppose
He was beside her! Please, star-bright,
First I see, while in the night
A soft-voiced like a tear, guitar—
It calls a palm coast from afar.
And oh, so far the stars were there
For him to hang upon her hair
Like the white rose he gave, white hot,
While the low sobbing band—it wept
Violets and forget-me-nots.

David Schubert, The Initial A, Macmillan, New York, 1961.

segunda-feira, 15 de outubro de 2012

Prospect Park

I would like to ask that dumb ox, Thomas
Aquinas, why it is, that when you have said
Something — you said it — then they ask you
A month later if it is true? Of course it is!
It is something about them I think. They think
It is something about me. It adds up
To my thinking I must be what I don’t
Know . . .

— The park is certainly
Tranquil tonight: lovers, like ants
Are scurrying into any old darkness,
Covert for kisses. It makes me feel
Old and lonely. I wish that I were
All of them, not with any one,
Would I exchange my lot, but the entire
Scene has a certain Breughel quality
I would participate in. —

Do I have to repeat
Myself. I really mean it.
I am not saying it again to convince myself
But to convince the repressed conviction
Of yourself. I think. I think. I think it.

David Schubert, Works and Days, Quarterly Review of Literature, s.d.

domingo, 14 de outubro de 2012

Another poet called David

I reached a point where there was no
Use going on: my companion said, “Do not waken
The watchman, do not shout, he will die
Of shock if you make the slightest
Sound.” I stood in the utter darkness,
Cold. Without evidence of myself.

The technique of diversion con-
Founds the rival by simulating friendship or
As the Victorians might say, worming
Affections. Then, at the point of trust,
As on this dark stage where one man sleeps
Slumped by the flashlight, to change the
Mode of address, from friend-
Ship to a complete stranger, to shriek-
Ing subtlety, to innuendo, and back to
Friendship. The executive wishes to
Demoralize his employee, perhaps he is slightly

I do not know. At the same time I could not enjoy
The enchanting silly coffee waves, sometimes
Sapphire, which is the fluid stream of our life.
Since then, like William James, I have learned
Ice-skating in my August, after—

At that point I returned;
Since there was no point going on I went back,
I spoke again to the marvelous friends of
My youth: for a short while it was a life.

That you were not willing I am sorry.

David Schubert, Works and Days, Quarterly Review of Literature, s.d.

sábado, 13 de outubro de 2012

 As relações entre arte e moral são extraordinariamente simples, pois tanto os defensores de que não há qualquer relação, como os seus opositores, têm razão. Objectivamente, não existe qualquer razão entre arte e moralidade, pela simples razão de que arte é arte e moralidade é moralidade, e pela mesma razão por que não existe qualquer relação entre a verdade e a moralidade. No entanto, a moralidade, sendo o esforço para elevar a vida humana, para lhe dar um valor humano, tem consequentemente relações com toda a vida humana. E a vida humana inclui a arte e a verdade.
  As mesmas relações existem entre beleza e verdade. Eu posso, se estiver ao meu alcance, basear um poema esplêndido no pressuposto de que o Sol se move em redor da Terra; nenhuma injúria a Copérnico afectará necessariamente a cadência do meu verso. Todavia, na mesma medida em que utilizo um pressuposto manifestamente errado, assim farei com que o meu poema perca o contacto com a vida – ou seja, ainda que não perca o contacto com a arte, perdê-lo-á com aquilo a que a arte pertence.  
  A minha mentira não prejudicará o efeito artístico do meu poema, mas arruinará o efeito de elevação de que o efeito artístico é apenas um aspecto. É que – e aqui tocamos no chão – elevar é a finalidade da arte mais sublime, e o seu fim é, por conseguinte, idêntico ao da moral. O meu poema pode elevar como um poema; deixará de elevar como produto vivente.

Fernando Pessoa, Heróstrato e a busca da imortalidade, Manuela Rocha (trad.) Assírio & Alvim, 2000.

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

 Gustave Courbet, L'Atelier du peintre, 1855, Musée d'Orsay.

Prémio Nobel da Literatura 2012

Neste ano, como em todos os outros, é ela e acabou.

segunda-feira, 8 de outubro de 2012

John B. Thompson sobre o livro na era digital

John Thompson: Ebooks - threats and opportunities from George Miller on Vimeo.

o que fica

Um controlo de segurança num aeroporto. Há que esvaziar o conteúdo da mochila: o computador, dois livros, um caderno, o iPod, três ou quatro canetas, três lápis de números diferentes, um porta-moedas, um bloco de notas verde, as chaves de casa. A vida secreta da mochila exposta. E depois veio o take off your shoes sem o please antes ou depois. E de repente no meio da confusão de gente que passava de um lado para o outro, detectores de metais em bip, guardas armados de metralhadora, o computador retido para testarem não sei o quê, espere cinco minutos, etc., etc., e dez minutos depois will you give me back my computer, like now, like right now?, já sem o please também, porque, de repente, a um ambiente cada vez mais hostil outra resposta possível é a hostilidade, o objecto privado sob investigação de estranhos, e, ao mesmo tempo, o anonimato disto, é tudo estranho, é tudo aleatório, não sou eu, não é o meu computador especificamente, é a ameaça anónima, a ameaça anónima aleatória e potencial, provável, de outra coisa qualquer que pode ou pode não vir, e no meio disto tudo, saído não sei de onde, não sei porquê, aquele verso de Elytis no início de O Monograma. Um mundo tão longe disto, de repente, a privacidade de um pequeno quarto, este quarto de onde venho e a que regresso, um verso a meio do caos, um verso como identidade, há-de ser sempre assim, a cabeça cheia de versos. De repente o silêncio desse verso, qualquer coisa nele de um lugar familiar. O silêncio a meio do caos, a coisa de que não podes ser outstripped, aquilo que não é inspeccionável, a nossa vida interna. Esta é a função do texto enquanto parte da tua história pessoal. A sua função vital, cardíaca. Não existe outra. Por isso os pequenos livros de poemas, os cadernos, o computador, as canetas. Porque o sentido, a pequena ternura de um verso a meio da noite, num lugar hostil, de repente é por vezes toda a civilização que nos resta.

sábado, 6 de outubro de 2012

Easter, 1916

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

W. B. YeatsThe Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, Richard Finneran (ed.), Simon & Schuster, 1996

Serious writing

We were interested in serious writing. Comic, not comical. Entertaining, not entertainment. We had no wish to claim that, because of what we read, we were better than those who read trash. We did not consider ourselves superior to our parents. We told ourselves that the things we valued in good writing - exaltation of spirit, insight into the lives and minds of others, good humour, the power to attack wrong, exposure to the the different between our own and other times, the constant challenge of high standards set by those who had gone before us - were benefits that might come to others in other ways, but our particular needs were literature, painting, music, all as parts of our daily, ordinary everyday lives, even though the rest of the world gave not a farthing for them.

Christopher LoguePrince Charming: A Memoir, Faber & Faber, 1999.

terça-feira, 2 de outubro de 2012

My cousin was a twin and a real card, he was christened Vincek and his brother was christened Ludvicek, and when they were a year old their mother was bathing them in a tub and popped out to a see a neighbor, and when she got back half an hour later one of them had drowned, and they were so much alike nobody could tell which one, Ludvicek or Vincek, so they flipped a coin, heads for Lucvicek, tails for Vincek, and it came up Ludvicek, but when my cousin Vincek grew up he began to wonder - and he had plenty of time for it, he was always out of a job - he began to wonder who really did drown, whether the person walking around on earth wasn't really Ludvicek and he, Vincek, was up in heaven, which led him to drink and to wander along the water's edge and go in swimming, testing the waters, so to speak, till at last he drowned, by way of proof that he hadn't been the one to drown back then...  

Bohumil Hrabal, Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, 1995, Trad. Michael Henry Heim.

quinta-feira, 27 de setembro de 2012

A primeira tentação que a gente tem é a de dizer: “Ainda bem que não lhe deram o passaporte.” Não. É evidente que não está certo e que o Alexandre tinha todo o direito de ter ido para Paris e de ter ido curtir com a Nora Mitrani, e o poema e a literatura que tivessem paciência… Porque ele escreveria outra coisa. Ou que não escrevesse, a vida é que é a grande obra de arte… E se a história com a Nora Mitrani corresse mal, paciência também… A grande obra de arte é a nossa vida. Não há outra.

Alexandre O’Neill – Uma Biografia Literária. Maria Antónia Oliveira. Dom Quixote, 2005


Nos teus olhos altamente perigosos
vigora ainda o mais rigoroso amor
a luz dos ombros pura e a sombra
duma angústia já purificada

Não tu não podias ficar presa comigo
à roda em que apodreço
a esta pata ensanguentada que vacila
quase medita
e avança mugindo pelo túnel
de uma velha dor

Não podias ficar nesta cadeira
onde passo o dia burocrático
o dia-a-dia da miséria
que sobe aos olhos vem às mãos
aos sorrisos
ao amor mal soletrado
à estupidez ao desespero sem boca
ao medo perfilado
à alegria sonâmbula à vírgula maníaca
do modo funcionário de viver

Não podias ficar nesta casa comigo
em trânsito mortal até ao dia sórdido
até ao dia que não vem da promessa
puríssima da madrugada
mas da miséria de uma noite gerada
por um dia igual

Não podias ficar presa comigo
à pequena dor que cada um de nós
traz docemente pela mão
a esta pequena dor à portuguesa
tão mansa quase vegetal

Mas tu não mereces esta cidade não mereces
esta roda de náusea em que giramos
até à idiotia
esta pequena morte
e o seu minucioso e porco ritual
esta nossa razão absurda de ser

Não tu és da cidade aventureira
da cidade onde o amor encontra as suas ruas
e o cemitério ardente
da sua morte
tu és da cidade onde vives por um fio
de puro acaso
onde morres ou vives não de asfixia
mas às mãos de uma aventura de um comércio puro
sem a moeda falsa do bem e do mal

Nesta curva tão terna e lancinante
que vai ser que já é o teu desaparecimento
digo-te adeus
e como um adolescente
tropeço de ternura
por ti

Alexandre O'NeillNo Reino da Dinamarca (1958).

But they exist

Did the ancient Greeks believe in their gods as I believe in the existence of the ancient Greeks? I am not sure how people form their religious beliefs. To hold such beliefs but lack a sense of humour can be dangerous. There are those who search for God in creation. Were I religious this would be my position. And there are people who are holy. They are rare. But they exist. 

Christopher Logue, Prince Charming: A Memoir, Faber & Faber, 1999.

quarta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2012

Soon this space will be too small

Soon this space will be too small
And I'll go oustide
To the huge hillside
Where the wild winds blow
And the cold stars shine

I'll put my foot
On the living road
And be carried from here
To the heart of the world

I'll be strong as a ship
And wise as a whale
And I'll say the three words
That will save us all
And I'll say the three words
That will save us all

Soon this space will be too small
And I'll laugh so hard
That the walls cave in

The I'll die three times
And be born again
In a little box
With a golden key
And a flying fish
Will set me free

Soon this space will be too small
All my veins and bones
Will be burned to dust
You can throw me into
A black iron pot
And my dust will tell
What my flesh would not

Soon this space will be too small
And I'll go oustide
And I'll go oustide
And I'll go oustide

(Lhasa de Sela)

quarta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2012

Colar da Pomba de Damasco (Mahmud Darwish)

alif . ا
em Damasco
_____ as pombas voam
__________ sobre uma cerca de seda
_______________ duas
____________________ a duas

bâ' . ب
em Damasco
_____ vejo toda a minha língua
______escrita num grão de trigo
______com agulha de mulher
______e corrigiu-a a perdiz da Mesopotâmia.

tâ' . ت
em Damasco
_____ estão bordados os nomes dos cavalos dos árabes
_____ desde os Dias da Ignorância1
______até ao Fim dos Tempos
______ou depois
______com fios de ouro

ṯâ' . ث
em Damasco
_____ o céu anda
_____ pelas ruas velhas
_____ descalço, descalço
_____ acaso precisam os poetas
_____ de inspiração
_____ ou de metro
_____ ou de rima?

jîm . ج
em Damasco
_____ dorme o estrangeiro
_____ de pé em cima da sombra
_____ como minarete no leito da eternidade
_____ sem saudade de país nenhum
_____ ou de ninguém

ḥâ' . ح
em Damasco
_____ prosegue o verbo no imperfeito
_____ as suas ocupações omíadas2:
_____ caminhamos para o nosso amanhã confiantes
_____ no Sol do nosso ontem.
_____ nós e a eternidade,
_____ habitantes deste lugar!

ḫâ' . خ
em Damasco
_____ rodam as conversas
_____ entre o violino e o alaúde
_____ à volta das questões das existências
_____ e dos fins:
_____ àquela que matou um amante renegado,
_____ para ela o Limite da Árvore de Lótus3!

dâl . د
_____ em Damasco
_____ Iussuf rasga
_____ com o nei4
_____ as suas costelas
_____ por nada
_____ senão que
_____ não achou com ele o seu coração

ḏâl . ذ
em Damasco
_____ voltam as palavras à sua origem,
_____ a água:
_____ não é poesia a poesia
_____ e não é prosa a prosa
_____ e tu dizes: não te deixarei
_____ mas toma-me para ti
_____ e toma-me contigo!

râ' . ر
em Damasco
_____ dorme uma gazela
_____ ao lado de uma mulher
_____ em cama de orvalho
_____ e então tira-lhe a roupa
_____ e cobre-se com o Barrada5!

zay . ز
em Damasco
_____ um pardal pica
_____ o trigo que deixei
_____ sobre a minha mão
_____ e deixa-me um grão
_____ para me mostrar amanhã
_____ a minha manhã!

sîn . س
_____ em Damasco
_____ um jasmim namorisca comigo.
_____ não me deixes
_____ e anda nas minhas pegadas
_____ e então o jardim tem cíumes de mim.
_____ não te aproximes
_____ do sangue da noite na minha Lua.

šîn . ش
em Damasco
_____ passo a noite com o meu sonho leve
_____ sobre uma flor de amendoeira que graceja:
_____ sê realista
_____ para que eu floresça segunda vez
_____ à roda da água do nome dela
_____ e sê realista
_____ para que eu atravesse o sonho dela!

ṣâd . ص
em Damasco
_____ apresento a minha alma
_____ a si mesma:
_____ aqui mesmo, sob dois olhos amendoados
_____ voamos juntos gémeos
_____ e adiamos o nosso passado comum

ḍâd . ض
em Damasco
_____ suavizam-se as palavras
_____ e então ouço a voz do sangue
_____ em veias de mármore:
_____ arranca-me ao meu filho,
_____ diz-me a cativa,
_____ ou tornar-te-ás comigo em pedra!

ṭâʾ . ط
em Damasco
_____ conto as minhas costelas
_____ e faço voltar o meu coração ao seu trote
_____ talvez a que me fez entrar
_____ na sua sombra
_____ me tenha matado
_____ e não me dei conta

ẓāʾ . ظ
em Damasco
_____ a estrangeira devolve a sua liteira
_____ à caravana:
_____ não regressarei à minha tenda
_____ não pendurarei a minha guitarra
_____ depois desta tarde
_____ na figueira da família

ʿayn . ع
em Damasco
_____ os poemas são translúcidos
_____ não são palpáveis
_____ e não são mentais
_____ mas o que diz o eco
_____ ao eco

ġayn . غ
em Damasco
_____ a nuvem seca em uma época
_____ e cava um poço
_____ para o Verão dos amantes na várzea do Qâsyûn6
_____ e o nei cumpre os seus usos
_____ na saudade que nele há
_____ e chora em vão

fâ' . ف
em Damasco
_____ registo no caderno de uma mulher:
_____ todos os
_____ narcisos que há em ti
_____ te desejam
_____ e não há muro à tua volta que te proteja
_____ da noite do teu encanto excessivo

qâf . ق
em Damasco
_____ vejo como se encolha a noite de Damasco
_____ devagarinho devagarinho
_____ e como com as nossas uma deusa se torna
_____ una!

kâf . ك
em Damasco
_____ canta o viajante em segredo:
_____ não voltarei de Damasco
_____ vivo
_____ nem morto
_____ mas nuvem
_____ que alivia o peso de borboleta
_____ da minha alma fugitiva.

Mahmûd Darwish
Tradução: André Simões

Cada estrofe tem por título as letras do alfabeto árabe, até ao kaf.

1A jahiliyya, o período pré-islâmico.
2Alusão ao Califado Omíada de Damasco (661-750).
3Trata-se da Árvore de Lótus que marca o fim do Sétimo Céu, ou seja: a última fronteira, aquela que ninguém pode passar (Alcorão 53:14).
4O nay é um género de flauta oriental.
5Trata-se de um rio que atravessa Damasco.
6Trata-se de um rio que atravessa Damasco.