ao Carlos e à Cláudia Menezes
noite em que o gato chegou ninguém
descansou lá em casa. O felino passeou-se
para a alma) atrás de
um papel redondo onde morria para mim
mais um poema falhado. O
pequeno dândi esguio (de pêlo
listado) arriscou de colo em colo como
que querendo lamber
as feridas da casa. O seu gene mais bravio
dos bosques da Noruega levava-o a ir cheirar
a possibilidade de perigo
pela frincha da janela.
Passámos a encerrar o acaso
com mais zelo.
Não toleraríamos mais mortes.
João Luís Barreto Guimarães
to Carlos and Cláudia Menezes
the night the cat arrived nobody
in our house slept. The feline wandered
(from the kitchen
to the soul) behind a
crumpled paper inside of which one more
faulty poem had died. The
slender little dandy (its fur
tabby) hazarded a gander at every lap
like it wanted to lick
the wounds of the house. Its most rambunctious gene
inherited from the Norwegian woods led him to go smell
the possibility of danger
through a crack in the window.
That moment we started hedging our bets
with more spirit.
We wouldn't tolerate any more deaths.
João Luís Barreto Guimarães, translated from the Portuguese by Calvin Olsen
João Luís Barreto Guimarães was born in Porto, Portugal (June, 3rd, 1967) where he graduated in Medicine. He is a Poet (as well as a Reconstructive Surgeon). As a writer, he is the author of 11 poetry books since 1989, including his first 7 books in “Collected Poetry” (“Poesia Reunida”, Quetzal, Lisbon, 2011) and the subsequent “You Are Here” (“Você está Aqui”, 2013), published in Italy, “Mediterranean” (“Mediterrâneo”, 2016) – National Award of Poetry António Ramos Rosa 2017, published in Spain, France, Italy where it was Finalist of the International Camaiori Prize 2018, Poland, Egypt, Greece, Serbia and forthcoming in the USA, Finland and Czech Republic; “Nomad” (“Nómada”, 2018) – Best Poetry Book Bertrand 2018 and Armando Silva Carvalho Poetry Award 2020, published in Italy where it was Finalist of the International Camaiori Prize 2019, Spain and Czech Republic, forthcoming in Serbia and Egypt; the anthology “Time Advances by Syllables” (“O Tempo Avança por Sílabas”, 2019), published in Croatia, Macedonia and Brazil, forthcoming in India; “Movement” (“Movimento”, 2020), Grand Prix of Literature dst 2022, also published in Macedonia, forthcoming in South Korea. The English translation of “Mediterranean”, by Calvin Olsen, won the Willow Run Poetry Award 2020. His work is published in numerous international anthologies. He has read at literary festivals in Malaga and Pontevedra in Spain, Aguascalientes in México, and Zagreb/Split in Croatia, Bremen in Germany and Washington and New York in USA. English translations have appeared widely.
Calvin Olsen is an American poet and translator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University, where he studied under Robert Pinsky, David Ferry, and Nobel laureate Louise Glück, and an MA in English & Comparative Literature from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and he is currently a doctoral candidate in Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media at NC State University. Calvin’s poetry and translations have appeared in The Adroit Journal, AGNI, Asymptote, The London Magazine, The National Poetry Review, and World Literature Today, among many others, and he is the recipient of a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship and a 2021. Travel Fellowship from The American Literary Translators Association. More of his work can be found at calvin-olsen.com.
1/24/2023 01:44:55 am
It's corny, I know, but I adopted a new cat in November, and this poem reminds me of him and how we want to smother him with attention...but remind our older cat he's still a valued member of the family. Love the mix of cat vanity and soul bonding.
2/18/2023 10:24:41 am
Not corny at all!
2/19/2023 07:15:55 am
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