Franz Kafka

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

À minha mãe, To My Mother, by Antônio Álvares de Azevedo, in English (Lira dos Vinte Anos)

Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (1831-1852) was a Brazilian Romantic poet and writer, playwright and essayist.


To my mother

by Antônio Álvares de Azevedo, 1853
Published posthumously in the collection Lira dos Vinte Anos.

Like the flowers of a sylvan tree
Shed their petals on the furrow that gave life
To its fruitless branches,
Oh my sweet mother, onto your breast
Allow that from this pale
Corolla of my fantasies
I too shed the cold, scentless,
Flowers of my existence, wilted flowers
Whose dew is only weeping!

Translated in English by LiteraryJoint

Original version in Portuguese:

À minha mãe

de Álvares de Azevedo, publicado póstumo em "Lira dos Vinte Anos", 1853

Como as flores de uma árvore silvestre
Se esfolham sobre a leiva que deu vida
A seus ramos sem fruto,
Ó minha doce mãe, sobre teu seio
Deixa que dessa pálida coroa
Das minhas fantasias
Eu desfolhe também, frias, sem cheiro,
Flores da minha vida, murchas flores
Que só orvalha o pranto!


  1. This is rich and fertile and dripping with sweetness. When reading a poem such as this, I sometimes imagine the poet losing himself in the freedom of his own words and the allure of their meaning. To have a glimpse of this poet's palette, before and after the romance ... just to see which colors were intended for the canvas and which colors emerged in the moment of ecstasy, unwittingly blended! I plan to read more of Antônio Álvares de Azevedo. Thank you for the English translation.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and your comments. We will certainly look to offer more glimpses into the work of this great author.


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