The Iceberg

It’s been a while since I last published a mistranslation, so here’s The Iceberg, mistranslated from the poem by the late great Brazilian poet Paulo Leminski. It’s not the first of his I’ve egregiously mishandled. Regular readers may recall this travesty from earlier this year.

Having now done damage to his work twice, I will release Leminski from the clutches of this project and seek other subjects elsewhere. You, however, are advised to go and read as much of his poetry as possible.

Paulo is not impressed with my mistranslating.

The Iceberg

An Arctic poetry

of course, is what I wish for.

A bleached-out practice,

three verses of ice.

An icecap of words

where speaking of life

is no longer possible.

Words? No, none.

A silent lyre

reduced to absolute zero,

a blink of the spirit,

the only, only thing.

But it’s all cock. And in speaking I provoke

swarms of misunderstanding

(or swarms of monologues?)

Yes, winter. We’re still alive.

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