Original title: This is a selection of poems
Author: Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Translator: Mark Strand
Printed in an edition of 500 copies only, it is a slim chapbook collection of 14 poems translated by Mark Strand, among which The Dead in Frock Coats, Souvenir of the Ancient World, Don’t Kill Yourself and Quadrille. According to the translator, himself a poet, Drummond’s poems concern themselves with the ubiquity of loss, and “are, for the most part, bittersweet evocations of a small-town childhood or, more emblematically, remorseful accounts of a lost world.”
|Lembrança do mundo antigo||Souvenir of the Ancient World|
|Clara passeava no jardim com as crianças.
O céu era verde sobre o gramado,
a água era dourada sob as pontes,
outros elementos eram azuis, róseos, alaranjados,
o guarda-civil sorria, passavam bicicletas,
a menina pisou a relva para pegar um pássaro,
o mundo inteiro, a Alemanha, a China, tudo era
[tranqüilo em redor de Clara.
As crianças olhavam para o céu: não era proibido.
A boca, o nariz, os olhos estavam abertos. Não havia perigo.
Os perigos que Clara temia eram a gripe, o calor, os insetos.
Clara tinha medo de perder o bonde das 11 horas,
esperava cartas que custavam a chegar,
nem sempre podia usar vestido novo. Mas passeava
no jardim, pela manhã!!!
Havia jardins, havia manhãs naquele tempo!!!
|Clara strolled in the garden with the children.
The sky was green over the grass,
the water was golden under the bridges,
other elements were blue and rose and orange,
a policeman smiled, bicycles passed,
a girl stepped onto the lawn to catch a bird,
the whole world—Germany, China—
All was quiet around Clara.
The children looked at the sky: it was not forbidden.
Mouth, nose, eyes were open. There was no danger.
What Clara feared were the flu, the heat, the insects.
Clara feared missing the eleven o’clock trolley,
waiting for letters slow to arrive,
not always being able to wear a new dress. But
she strolled in the garden, in the morning!
They had gardens, they had mornings in those days!
Soft cover: 28 pages Publisher: Samuel Antupit, Antaeus Editions (1976) Translator: Mark Strand Limited edition: 500 copies Buy this book here