From the Publisher
The compressed wry clarities of this great poet find an active voice in these exceptionally perceptive translations. It matters that one understand "the original" beyond the seeming simplicity of its words. Richard Zenith does, altogether. —Robert Creeley
This superb selection of João Cabral de Melo Neto’s poems is indeed, in the words of the title, an "Education by Stone." Like Francis Ponge and William Carlos Williams, Cabral is a poet of thingness; he observes the seemingly trivial and intransigent, transforming "stone" into something rich, strange—and often very sexy. Richard Zenith’s excellent translation captures Cabral’s unique—and surprising—poetic landscape in all its nuances and thus provides new access to a major Brazilian poet. —Marjorie Perloff
João Cabral de Melo Neto is one of Brazil’s most acclaimed poets . . . From his early days, Mr. Cabral has written poems that are marked by a captivating use of simple language. Avoiding ceremony and circumstance, they follow centuries-old paths rather than struggle to break new ground. —NY Times Book Review
Read an Excerpt
Há um homem sonhando numa praia; um outro que nunca sabe as datas; há um homem fugindo de uma árvore; outro que perdeu seu barco ou seu chapéu; há um homem que é soldado; outro que faz de avião; outro que vai esquecendo sua hora seu mistério seu medo da palavra véu; e em forma de navio há ainda um que adormeceu.
There’s a man dreaming on a beach, another who never remembers dates. There’s a man running away from a tree, another missing his boat or his hat. There’s a man who’s a soldier, another who acts like an airplane, another who keeps forgetting his time his mystery his fear of the word veil. And there’s yet another who, stretched out like a ship, fell asleep.
Ó jardins enfurecidos, pensamentos palavras sortilégio sob uma lua contemplada; jardins de minha ausência imensa e vegetal; ó jardins de um céu viciosamente freqüentado: onde o mistério maior do sol da luz da saúde?
O raging gardens, thoughts words sorcery under a contemplated moon, O gardens of my vast vegetable absence, gardens of an enchanting, addictive sky: where is the larger mystery of light the sun health?