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Ellen Doré Watson

Ellen Doré Watson

Ellen Doré Watson's most recent book is Dogged Hearts. A poet and translator, she is recipient of an NEA translation grant and fellowships to McDowell and Yaddo. Watson serves as poetry and translation editor of The Massachusetts Review, directs the Poetry Center at Smith College, and teaches in the Drew University low-residency M.F.A. in Poetry and Poetry in Translation.

Sleeping Beauty (English Translation)

I'm happy—and the reason
secretly borders on humiliation,
because at fifty
I can no longer take a dance class,
choose a profession,
learn to swim like I should.
Meanwhile, I don't know whether it's because of this rain,
the air drawing winged ants out of the ground,
or because he's come back
and turned everything archaic, like the stuff of the soul:
if you go to the meadow,
if you look at the sky,
those tart little fruits,
that tiny new star,
you know nothing has changed.
Papa is alive and coughing,
Mama's cursing sweetly in the kitchen.
As soon as it's dark I'll go out and flirt.                            
What a good and orderly world!
Flirt with who?
My soul was born wed
to an invisible husband.
When he speaks, dew appears;
I sense his approach                    
because the grasses bow down.                               
I'm so attentive that I sleep
more each year.
I swear, under oath:
I'm eighteen. Not even.

A Bela Adormecida (Original Portuguese)

Estou alegre e o motivo
beira secretmente à humilhação,
porque aos 50 anos
não posso mais fazer curso de dança,
escholher profissão,
aprender a nadar como se deve.
No entanto, não sei se é por causa das águas,
deste ar que desentoca do chão as formigas aladas,
ou se é por causa dele que volta
e põe tudo aracaico como a materia da alma,
se você vai ao pasto,
se você olha o céu,
aquelas fruitinhas travosas,
aquela estrelinha nova,
sabe que nada mudou.
O pai está vivo e tosse,
a mãe pragueja sem raiva na cozinha.
Assim que escurecer vou namorar.
Que mundo ordenado e bom!
Namorar quem?
Minha alma nasceu desposada
com um marido invisivel.
Quando ele fala roreja,
quando ele vem eu sei,
porque as hastes se inclinam.
Eu fico tão atenta que adormeço
a cada ano mais.
Sob juramento lhes digo:
tenho 18 anos. Incompletos.
Adélia Prado

Adélia Prado

Adélia Prado, one of the foremost poets of Brazil, is author of eight books of poetry and seven of prose. She was praised by Veja (Brazil's Newsweek) as "a writer of rare brilliance and invincible simplicity." Wesleyan University Press published her first volume in English, The Alphabet in the Park (1990), translated by Ellen Doré Watson. A second, Ex-Voto, also by Watson, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2013.

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