Poems By Ana Luísa Amaral  Translated By Ana Hudson

বাংলা English
Ana Luísa Amaral
Ana Luísa Amaral was born in Lisbon in 1956. She is a Portuguese poet, translator and she teaches English and American Literature and Culture at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto. She did her doctorate on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and her areas of research are Comparative Poetics, feminist studies and Queer studies. Among the awards she has received so far are Prémio Literário Correntes d’Escritas, Premio di Poesia Giuseppe Acerbi, Grande Prémio de Poesia da Associação Portuguesa de Escritores, Prémio António Gedeão, o Prémio Internazionale Fondazione Roma, Ritratti di Poesia, Prémio Rainha Sofia de Poesia Ibero-Americana and many others. A collection of her translations of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published in 2010. Translations of her poems have been published in many countries  like the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Holland, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. 
Currently, she has a radio programme, along with Luís Caetano, called O Som que os Versos Fazem ao Abrir. A few of her books are Imagias (2002), A arte de Ser Tigre (2003), A Génese do Amor (2005), Poesia Reunida 1990-2005 (2005), Inversos, Poesia 1990-2010 (2010), What's in a name (2017), Mundo (2021), among others.
     The translations by Ana Hudson of the two poems reprinted here are from Imagias and  Inversos, Poesia 1990-2010 respectively.

                                                                            Biography (very, very short)

Ah, when I used to write
of kisses I did not have
and of onions almost perfectly!

The kisses I did not have:
lurking, underneath
the onions

(but now I think
that but for
the kisses I did not have
there’d be no poem)

Later, when I had them already,
from time to time
I shed an onion:

rare pearl, diamond
of blood and laughter,
misunderstood by reason

Now, without counting:
kiss or onions?

What I don’t have
(or everything): deaf
and blind journal:

dresses not taken off
layers yet to be shed:

and more:

From Lisbon: an unfinished song, revisited, in the distance the Tagus

Unreal city under the brown fog of a winter afternoon
                                                      The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot
It may not be unreal, and it won’t have,
like the other one, a Thames for company,
but its river, its estuary as wide as
the sky, never stops being beautiful

Its clarity is at times so much more poignant
than the other whose skin leans against
the banks
of other rivers (the one that inspired the English poet
with its nymphs, or bequeathed the blond
women warriors to the German musician)

In these parts, this river has been called everything 
from graceful to conjuror of such
ardent desire.
And the city which, in an ignorant moment of protean
explosion, inherited its waters,
its legends, its caravels,
has also inherited other things:

wishes to fly a thousand rhymes,
for people so diverse and for such immense nights,
for a moon so large and so out
from its gentle path

Not even Jerusalem blinded by a man
who, in the rip of the century,
spoke of it, as he spoke of London, Vienna,
Alexandria or others,

ah, sweet, run now, till I end my song
till I end my song, my song, my

Spenser’s line would fit here                           
now, original,
in a city not unreal,
but of so much blue, so laced
at its windows, and re-visited
by such sorrow,
that even she of the hyacinths, would
recognise herself: You,
hipocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère

And the rest: a song 
unfinished –

Ana Hudson
Ana Hudson has a BA in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Portuguese Studies from King’s College London. She is responsible for “Poems from the Portuguese” (www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org), wich she has set up and devised. She lives in England.

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