Desmond Painter. Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987) is een van die vernaamste Brasiliaanse digters uit die vorige eeu. Hy was ‘n verteenwoordiger van die Brasiliaanse Modernisme, maar ook ‘n digter wat ‘n eie, onuitwisbare stempel op die digkuns van sy land, en op die Portugese digkuns in die algemeen, afgedruk het.

Sy latere gedigte veral word gekenmerk deur ‘n onsentimentele, ironiese, dikwels skeptiese — en by tye selfs sarkastiese — stem. Soos hy dit in een van sy gedigte stel het hy hom vervreemd gevoel van ‘everything in life that is open and talkative’. En tog spreek Andrade sy leser aan in ‘n stem waarin daar, volgens Uys Krige, ”n vae hoop vir ons toestand as afgesonderde wesens skuil.’

Krige het ‘n paar van Andrade se gedigte in Afrikaans vertaal (gebundel in sy Brasilië Sing, Perskor, 1990), maar die gedig wat ek vanoggend plaas is in Engels vertaal deur Philip Krummrich.

Loving – Carlos Drummond de Andrade

What can a creature do except

among the other creatures, love?

love and forget,

love and mislove, love, unlove, and love?

always, even with one’s eyes gone glassy, love?

I ask you, what can an amorous being do,

lonesome, amid the general rotation,

but rotate with the rest, and love?

Love what the waves wash up on the beach,

and what they bury, and all that, in the sea breeze?

is salt, or need of love, or simple anguish?

Love the desert palms most solemnly,

love all surrender, or expectant adoration,

and love the forbidding, or expectant adoration,

and love the forbidding, love the harsh,

a vase without a flower, a metal floor,

a torpid breast, street seen in a dream, a bird of prey.

This is our fate: love beyond reckoning,

shared out among things treacherous or worthless,

a limitless gift to complete ingratitude;

and in the empty shell of love the timid search,

the patient search, for more and yet more love.

Loving our own lack of love, and in our aridness

loving latent water, silent kisses, boundless thirst.

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