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    September 18, 2007

    Poetry from Poems Daily©

    The three poems from "A Clean Shirt of It" translated from Portuguese by Idra Novey are here. The Portuguese version is in a link inside the link. Copyright Idra Novey© 2007, Paulo Henriques Britto ©2003, www.poems.com©.

    This link is for educational purposes only.Paulo_autografando

    Poetry for a Good Measure


    September 16, 2007

    Paulo Henriques Britto - Poet Laureate

    Seek and thou shall find. I was looking for a link of mine in Technorati. That I found not. I found instead a collective blog, O Indivíduo, in which Pedro Sette Câmara lends his voice to lusophone poetry.
    This link presents Paulo Henriques Britto and Fernando Pessoa.

    Are you ready? Click here, read and listen please.

    September 05, 2007

    O que tinha que ser - Tom e Vinícius

    I am a night person. Running behind, I apologize. The name of one of my top five songs, music and lyrics is O quê tinha que ser, by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Tom was a maestro playing in bars in an alley in Copacabana. Whatever one can find when one has children. I saw him play only once, here at the Hollywood Bowl. Then I saw him at the end of his life, heavy like me, sitting at a BBQ-restaurant, an elegant all you can eat, drinking beer on tap, smoking, more red meat. He came here and died on Immaculate Conception, December 8.

    Vinicius de Moraes was one of the youngest ever diplomats in Itamaraty. While Tom was married to Teresa for a looong time, Vinicius would move on. I saw him when I was a teenager, in 1965 or 1966. Although raised in a Catholic school, having learned Latin, although raised traditionally, Vinicius was irreverent. The other diplomats felt spiteful, I guess. Mommy and I used ot argue this point. She'd say he was a shame to Brazil. I'd say he did more for Brazil than any of the others, except the Baron who sliced a big chunk of Bolivia for us, Barão do Rio Branco. Mommy argued he drank and never wore a suit to work. Vinicius died peacefully in his bathtub, in Bahia.
    I used to cry for George Harrison while one of his daughters would cry for Paul. Vinicius wrote about the sof-boiled egg-sucking mouth of Paul's. I can see that; like trying to say "Le chapeau pointu."

    Here are the lyrics, by Vinicius. I'll translate them to the best of my ability tomorrow. Look for the video in thepost right after Links, please.

    reproduced for educational purposes only. ©
    O que tinha de ser

    (Tom Jobim e Vinícius de Moraes)

    Int.: Em
    Porque foste na vida
    A última esperança
    Encontrar-te me fez criança
    Porque já eras meu
    Sem eu saber sequer
    Porque és o meu homem
    E eu tua mulher
    Porque tu me chegaste

    Sem me dizer que vinhas
    E7 Am
    E tuas mãos foram minhas com calma
    Porque foste em minh'alma
    Como um amanhecer
    B7 E (Em)
    Porque foste o que tinha de ser

    August 12, 2007

    Du Contraire


    My mother used an expression for people who showed any opposition to her ideas or statements.  Unfortunately, it was " a spirit of a pig."  Maybe ahead of time, she foresaw the "chauvinistic pig" of the 60s.  Oinc-Oinc.
    There is another expression in Portuguese "do contrário".  That is "a contrarian."

    My sister and I used to fight, not that much, but she was a du contraire, like the boys here at home. I have barely finished a sentence and there  comes a "No, woi£∞™¢0$%#^%#$!$ipr!"  Burns me up.

    We are friends although her tolerance for social talk is no more than fifteen minutes. She's a dermo-pathologist. No night calls, get it?  The patients can always wait. The patient won't complain ever. 

    She reserves her limited energy for extreme cases.  I disperse my energy in futile causes.  I wrote this poem in 1997.  This is  free rhyme  and my translation.  The  Poet  Laureate is busy translating someone holier than  me.

    Two Sisters

    Because blood is thicker than water

    Let salty tears dissolve
    past fraternal quabblling i
    n the red sea--
    hermetic genetic which
    unites us --it's been years.

    Let us dissolve them in an embrace
    sweet, crimson, viscous,
    tender. Secretive
    From me to you and
    From you to me.

    Sweet blood weighs
    more than water -
    salt water or not,
    (may your heart
    sink not at the burden
    of unwanted memories.)

    Keep, O Sister! Like I
    keep love belonging to you,
    spread in rooms here and
    infinite as the tracks left
    in the sand
    by ants in a park in Rio.

    Love projected in books, in
    closets, in prose in poems

    Heed this voice!

    Hidden in abysses
    of æortas,

    Let's open our ports
    keeping our docks
    in a sweet sour hug.

    My ventricule, your auricule.
    Tell me lo que quieres
    We will be sisters to the end

    The sole Oiticica Harrisses
    Yesterday, today, in
    a tomorrow ad infinitum.

    Ipanema, 1997



    July 29, 2007

    Daddy, Sit Me on Your Knee


    Daddy, sit me on your knee
    Play horse and gallop me
    To a better world

    I am afraid, Daddy, it's too
    Tough to live like this
    Daddy, call me once again

    Many times till I stop sobbing
    Your "honeyzeetiquitah"
    Maybe your strong hands could

    Wipe away my tears and pain
    Daddy, I'm too young still
    Not to be able to walk or

    Get up from your lap
    To have a mind entrapped
    In this unresponsive body

    Daddy, if all else fails
    Can you bring me a box
    Of Crayolas with 64 colors

    And a built in sharpener?
    So at least my imaginary
    world can be in technicolor


    May 26, 2007

    Meet Paulo Henriques Britto, the Poet Laureate


    Of Consciousness as a Kind of Toothache

    The precise shape of the chair
    against a wall of sullen white
    will not surrender any such meaning
    as you might possibly divine.
    (This hurts.)

    Try once again: There is a wholesome chair
    against a blissful wall of utter white.
    The chair is absolutely still,
    and in its sharp starkness of shape
    it stands out like a shriek of agony
    against the whiteness of the wall.
    And that is all.
    (This positively hurts.

    There are no chairs in Eden,
    where words live out their dismal fate
    and die for want of solid food.
    And in this room of frozen furniture
    and wall of white, no meanings dare make entrance
    and face the fierceness of wood, the rigor of brick,
    the nameless horrors of a silent room
    drenched in artificial light.)

    This hurts like hell. But there's no balm in Chairland.
    no comfort in the vault where meanings lie
    and wait until they die.

    From Liturgia da Matéria, PHB, 1982.

    The poet is ambilingual, as fluent in English as in Brazilian Portuguese. Born in Rio de Janeiro,1951, he spent one year of high school in D.C. In the beginners' class when he started, he was in HP English before the end of his stay. An avid reader of Poe, Pessoa, Joyce, Proust and many others, the Poet Laureate has little time to write. He translates big names, such as : Phillip Roth, Johnn Updike, Don DeLilo, Faulkner, and he is an Elizabeth Bishop specialist. He translated Douglas Adams' first in a series. The number 42 is the latest craze in Brazilian Blogsland. He won the prestigious Portugal-Telecom award for his book Macau in 2003.
    There is a book of his poetry coming up, translated into English. Check it out.
    PHB in English.

    Caetano Veloso might have said that behind a successful man there is a woman, maybe it was Gilberto Gil. The Poet Laureate found his better half in a specialist in Tropicália and MPB, and more from a political anthropological view, Dr. Santuza Cambraia Naves. They have been companions and soulmates since 1986.

    February 26, 2007

    Marching Band

    Marching Band

    The summer has come to an end, fall has begun
    Students start preparing for school again
    However, one group of students have already been preparing ofr fall
    The marvelous marching band season has started two weeks before school
    The students warm up on their instruments
    From the Sousaphone to the trumpet'And the Saxophone to the flute
    All coming together to refresh their memories of their season
    Starting with their training of playing

    A field show is chosen and the music is immediately memorized
    Then comes the part of relearning how to march
    From rolling your feet, to stop and goes
    We relearn the fundamentals, drills and finally come to the show

    The show is learned by pages at a timme, and attaching the music to the drill]
    Visuals are added on for the people who are stationary for a couple of sets]
    And as the pages were added, the show was a step closer to being finished.
    Two weeks before the first competition, the show was finished, but sti messy
    We got good awards, and so, we spent the next couple of weeks polishing]

    Finally camee the football games
    Oh football games were the best
    In came the band with their fight song
    Playing for the team, they sound like number one

    Finally comes the competitions
    Blowing our hearts out to make a difference
    The tubas with their umpah's
    The flutes with thier frills and trills
    The trumpets with their melodies
    And the percussionists with their beats
    All making one big sound to produce music
    Awards given for our good performance

    End of the season is near
    From a marching band to a concert band
    Sightreading new music to pay
    Awaiting Dysneyland to come
    Concert goes on and we make the band sound good

    Gabriel Harris-Rouquette
    SAMOHI, English HP
    January 12, 2007