Mark Strand

Canadian-born American poet, essayist and translator.

Souvenir of the ancient world

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!

Souvenir of the ancient world_Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Soft cover: 28 pages
Publisher: Samuel Antupit, Antaeus Editions (1976)
Translator: Mark Strand
Limited edition: 500 copies
Buy this book here

Looking for Poetry

Authors: Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Rafael Alberti
Translator: Mark Strand

Poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Rafael Alberti and Songs from the Quechua

A uniquely appealing collection that reflects the variety and richness of South American poetry. Carlos Drummond de Andrade, a native-born Brazilian, is universally recognized as the finest and most accessible modern Portugese-language poet and, along with Pablo Neruda, a poet of the common man, writing of home, family, friends, and love. Rafael Alberti–an elegist primarily–came to Argentina (where he wrote many of his poems) in exile from Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The effects of that experience wind through the poet’s work in poems about the survival of the spirit in the face of personal and political tragedy. “Looking for Poetry” also contains the simple and haunting poems of the Quechua Indians. (Source: publisher)

Looking for Poetry_Carlos Drummond de Andrade

 Paperback: 192 pages
 Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group; 1 edition (Feb. 2002)
 Translator: Mark Strand
 ISBN-10: 0375709886
 ISBN-13: 978-0375709883
 Click here to buy this book

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