Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seven-Sided Poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Seven-Sided Poem

When I was born, one of those twisted 
angels who live in the shadows said: 
‘Carlos, get ready to be a misfit in life!’

The houses watch the men 
who chase after women.
If desire weren’t so rampant, 
the afternoon might be blue.

The passing streetcar’s full of legs:
white and black and yellow legs.
My heart asks why, my God, so many legs? 
My eyes, however,
ask no questions.

The man behind the moustache
is serious, simple, and strong.
He hardly ever talks.
Only a very few are friends
with the man behind the glasses and moustache.

My God, why have you forsaken me 
if you knew that I wasn’t God,
if you knew that I was weak.

World so large, world so wide,
if my name were Clyde,
it would be a rhyme but not an answer. 
World so wide, world so large,
my heart’s even larger.

I shouldn’t tell you,
but this moon
but this brandy
make me sentimental as hell.

(Translated by Richard Zenith)

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