"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Friday, January 11, 2008

Poetry Friday

I recently broke down and bought a Blackberry and now wonder what I ever did without it. One of my favorite things to do on the busride home is to go through my Google Reader and read my subscriptions to all the literary and poetry feeds, I never had much time to do more than scan.

This was in today's feed from Poetry Daily and I was completely taken aback by the sumptious, evocative language. It's from the Portuguese and luckily I can read in Portuguese as well as Spanish and I have to say that the translation captures the cadence of the original beautifully. They do include the link to the original poem if you want to take a stab at it.

Someone opens an orange in silence by Herberto Helder
translated from the Portuguese by Alexis Levitin

Someone opens an orange in silence, at the entrance
to fabled nights.
He plunges his thumbs down to where the orange
is rapidly thinking, where it grows, annihilates itself, and then
is born again. Someone is peeling a pear, eating
a bunch of grapes, devoting himself
to fruit. And I fashion a sharp-witted song
so as to understand.
I lean over busy hands, mouths,
tongues that devour their way through attention.
I would like to know how the fable of the nights
grows like this. How silence
swells, or is transformed with things. I write
a song in order to be intelligent about fruit
on the tongue, through subtle channels, unto
a dark emotion.

Read the rest of this poem here.

The round-up is at The Book Mine Set. Thanks for hosting John!

5 comments:

Tricia said...

Okay, must you brag? Portuguese and Spanish? *Sigh* If it's Latin (of the dead variety), I'm there.

Thanks for sharing this one is marvelous.

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

Ooooh dead Latin?! I'm officially jealous. Thanks for visiting.

Sara said...

I don't know how to put what I think about this poem into words. The poem defies being taken apart, which is what the poet is trying to say about love, I think.

I went to the original Portugese to read the last line and say it out loud. (I don't speak Portugese, so I was guessing.) But it was beautiful.

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

Sara - I know exactly what you mean about how it defies being taken apart. I just fell in love with it and now must go find all poems by this fantastic poet. I so love the way it opens with this fantastic sentence - Someone opens an orange in silence, at the entrance
to fabled nights.

Oh! It just sends shivers and makes me think all kinds of wondrous things about fabled nights, stories, dreams and well just all that is marvelous and hopeful.

Thank you for visiting.

Cloudscome said...

"I write
a song in order to be intelligent about fruit
on the tongue, through subtle channels, unto
a dark emotion.

For love also gathers rinds
and the movement of the fingers "

Beautiful!! Thanks for introducing us to a new-to-me poet.