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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.

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About the translation:
Poet:
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Translator:
Richard Zenith
Original language:
Portuguese (Brazil)
Issue:
2014 Number 2 - SOLD OUT - Twisted Angels

About the author

Original poet

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902–1987) grew up in the Brazilian interior. He spent most of his life working as a government bu...

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Translator

Richard Zenith

Richard Zenith is one of the leading English-speaking experts on Pessoa and translator of his work, and editor of the Penguin...

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