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Roquette-Pinto's poetry has also appeared in bilingual anthologies such as The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 3: Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain—20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press/Green Integer, 1997/2003); in Outras Praias*/13 Poetas Brasileiras Emergentes - Other Shores/13 Emerging Brazilian Poets, Ed. Ricardo Corona: São Paulo: Editora Iluminuras, 1998; and in "Lies About the Truth: An Anthology of Brazilian Poetry," edited by Régis Bonvicino in collaboration with Tarso M. de Mélo, in New American Writing, no. 18 (2000). If you're curious to see more of her work online, click on her name, which I've hyperlinked above, and it'll take you directly to her website, which is in Portuguese.
I thought I'd try my hand at translating one of her poems from Outras Praias*/13 Poetas Brasileiras Emergentes - Other Shores/13 Emerging Brazilian Poets, "Space-Writing," inspired by a Man Ray photo. In this poem as in her others in the volume, Roquette-Pinto's Portuguese is precise and playful, seemingly light and yet layered in ways that are hard to bring fully into English. For example, the "desa / tino" in the original splits the word for "madness" but to a Portuguese reader could almost seem to be saying, "of that / sense" (though grammatically it would properly be "desse / tino") while also echoing the different and English cognate word "destino." Also in this particular poem certain rhymes recur that I could not bring into English, though I tried to find similar consonances (the "s's", for example), while exploiting English's own resources in terms of rhyme and meter. That led to a few syntactic reversals, as at the end. Translator Charles Perrone's version of them is somewhat different; for example, he ends with "rapture/of the sealant." It's fine, but I didn't like the music, so instead, I tried to maintain something I think is closer to the original, while still sounding mellifluous (and yet, harsh in the way the flat "a" and "r's" respond to each other). Any thoughts you have, don't hesitate to let me know!
SPACE-WRITING (sobre foto de Man Ray) para escrever no espaço: o arco do braço mais ágil que o sobressalto das idéias em fuga (tinem os cascos) o traço que as mãos no encalço (desa tino de asas) precursam: circunvoluções do improviso na moldura findo o lapso resta em claro (i tinerário de medusas) a escrita que perdura para o espasmo o "olho armado" o rapto do obturador SPACE WRITING (on a photo by Man Ray) to write in space: the arc of the arm more adroit than the startling of ideas in flight (hooves clopping) the trace that hands on heel (mad- fluttering of wings) crisscross: circumvolutions of improvisations in the frame after the lapse remains clear (i tinerary of medusas) writing that lasts for the spasm the "armed eye" the shutter's rapture
Copyright © Claudia Roquette-Pinto, from Outras Praias*/13 Poetas Brasileiras Emergentes - Other Shores/13 Emerging Brazilian Poets, Ed. Ricardo Corona: São Paulo: Editora Iluminuras, 1998. Translation, Copyright © John Keene. All rights reserved.