Posts featuring Ana Luísa Amaral

Translation Tuesday: “Testament” by Ana Luísa Amaral

if I should die on a plane and be…a free-floating atom in the sky

To commemorate International Women’s Day coming up tomorrow, I’m thrilled to present the following poem by award-winning Portuguese poet, Ana Luísa Amaral, translated by the brilliant Margaret Jull Costa. Addressed to the narrator’s daughter (and, it seems, the daughter of that daughter), these words celebrate the hidden potentiality inside every woman—and the spontaneity of life itself, even in its contemplation of sudden death.

Testament

I’m about to fly off somewhere
and my fear of heights plus myself
finds me resorting to tranquillisers
and having confused dreams

If I should die
I want my daughter always to remember me
for someone to sing to her even if they can’t hold a tune
to offer her pure dreams
rather than a fixed timetable
or a well-made bed

To give her love and the ability
to look inside things
to dream of blue suns and brilliant skies
instead of teaching her how to add up
and how to peel potatoes

To prepare my daughter
for life
if I should die on a plane
and be separated from my body
and become a free-floating atom in the sky

Let my daughter
remember me
and later on say to her own daughter
that I flew off into the sky
and was all dazzle and contentment
to see that in her house none of the sums added up
and the potatoes were still in their sack forgotten
entire

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Translation Tuesday: Five poems by Ana Luísa Amaral

and thank you for the thread of perfume you brought me, / waxing a rough wooden floor / or the veins of a plant eager for leaves

Testament

 

I’m about to fly off somewhere

and my fear of heights plus myself

finds me resorting to tranquillisers

and having confused dreams

 

If I should die

I want my daughter always to remember me

for someone to sing to her even if they can’t hold a tune

to offer her pure dreams

rather than a fixed timetable

or a well-made bed

 

To give her love and the ability

to look inside things

to dream of blue suns and brilliant skies

instead of teaching her how to add up

and how to peel potatoes

READ MORE…