Friday, June 25, 2010

Plates warmed by the waves

Eletric fire, hand build on manual wheel and slipware detail.

Imitation of Water

João Cabral de Mello Neto (*)

Translated by Ashley Brown

On the sheet, on your side,

already so marine a scene,

you were looking like a wave

lying down on the beach.

A wave that was stopping

or better: that was refraining;

that would contain a moment

its murmur of liquid leaves.

A wave that was stopping

at that precise hour

when the eyelid of the wave

drops over its own pupil.

A wave that was stopping

in breaking, interrupted,

would stop itself, immobile,

at the height of its crest

and would make itself a mountain

(being horizontal and fixed)

but in becoming a mountain

would yet continue to be water.

A wave that would keep,

in a seashore bed, finite,

the nature without end

that it shares with the sea,

and in its immobility,

guessed to be precarious,

the gift of overflowing

that makes the waters feminine,

and the climate of deep waters,

that shadowy intimacy,

and a certain full embrace

you copy from the liquids.

(*) João Cabral was a brazilian poet from my city, Recife. He published his first book Pedra do Sono (Stone of the Sleep) in 1942. He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1947, and was sent to Barcelona, where he lived for many years. His poetry contains many images of the social conditions of the northeastern region of Brazil, where he grew up. He is generally considered the most important poet of the post-war generation.

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