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Poetry in Translation (CCVIII): Joaquim Maria MACHADO de ASSIS, (b. Rio de Janeiro: 1839 – 1908), BRAZIL, “A Carolina”, “Iubitei”, “To Carolina”

August 18th, 2013 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCVIII): Joaquim Maria MACHADO de ASSIS, (b. Rio de Janeiro: 1839 – 1908), BRAZIL, “A Carolina”, “Iubitei”, “To Carolina”

Machado de Assis

Machado de Assis

A Carolina
Machado de Assis (1839-1908)

Querida, ao pé do leito derradeiro
Em que descansas dessa longa vida,
Aqui venho e virei, pobre querida,
Trazer-te o coração do companheiro.

Pulsa-lhe aquele afeto verdadeiro
Que, a despeito de toda a humana lida,
Fez a nossa existência apetecida
E num recanto pôs um mundo inteiro.

Trago-te flores,—restos arrancados
Da terra que nos viu passar unidos
E ora mortos nos deixa e separados.

Que eu, se tenho nos olhos malferidos
Pensamentos de vida formulados,
São pensamentos idos e vividos.

book machado

Machado de Assis (1839-1908),
Rio de Janeiro, Brazilia

Iubito, în genunchi, la patul tău,
Unde îţi odihneşti o viaţă-ntreagă,
De-a pururi, langă tine, fiinţă dragă,
Eu sufletu-mi îţi pun la căpătâi.

Cu dor adânc, vibrând necontenit,
Mi-ai luminat cărarea vieţii toată,
Facând din cas-un cuib prea-fericit.

Ţi-aduc ofranda florilor culese
Pe drumul ce-am purces, noi amândoi,
Lăsând în urmă gânduri ne’nţelese.

Iar dacă-n ochii lacrimilor toate,
Mereu adastă visuri din trecut,
Eu le-am trăit, dar astăzi sunt departe.

Versiune în limba Română
de Constantin Roman, Londra,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin Roman

machado note

To Carolina

My sweet, here at the foot of your last bed
In which you’re resting now from your long life,
I’ve come and always will, poor dearest wife,
To bring you the companion’s heart you wed.

It pulses from affection tried and true
And which, despite all human drudgery,
Had made our life’s existence ecstasy
And brought our home a world for me and you.

I bring you flowers, remnants plucked now faded
From earth that saw us jointly walk this way
And now has left us dead and separated.

If l, within my wounded eyes today
Still carry thoughts of life I´d formulated,
Those thoughts once lived, but now they’ve gone away.

English translation by Frederic G. William

From: “POETS OF BRAZIL – A Bilingual Selection” – New York: Luso Brazilian Books,
Brigham Young University Studies, Provo, Utah, USA;
Editora da Universidade Feral da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil.

Machado de Assis SHORT BIO:
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was born in the young nation’s capital, the royal court city of Rio de Janeiro, on june 21,1839. Regarded as the premier literary figure of Brazil, he was the son of Carolina Xavier de Novais a Portuguese washerwoman from São Miguel, Azores, and a mulatto house-painter father. Not only did Machado have poverty to contend with while growing up, but he also suffered a lifetime of myopia, epilepsy, and shyness. He made up for his meagre formal education by working as a printer’s apprentice, first typesetting, then proofreading, and finally composing and publishing his own work. Enthralled with books, especially novels, Machado learned Latin from a caring priest and French from a baker in exchange for running errands for them. He was married, in 1869, to Carolina Xavier de Novais, a Portuguese, and although they had no children, they lived happily together and were ever devoted to one another until her death in 1904.

Machado began his writing career during the romantic era, producing a large literary corpus that includes such genres as theatre, translation, criticism, and poetry (four volumes). But he is best known for his crônicas (newspaper columns), short stories, and novels (nine altogether). Especially important are the last five (written during the realist period), where, with subtle irony, lie explores the mediocrity found among some members of the upper middle classes who, while enjoying all the benefits of health, wealth, and education contributed nothing to society.

Machado de Assis rose to high office in the Ministry of Transportation and was honoured as the first president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, an office he held until his death in 1908.

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