Saturday, May 22, 2004

SOPHIA DE MELLO BREYNER ANDRESEN

Born in 1919, this lady poet commenced composing poetry at the age of 16. As a classical style poet she first published some works in 1941 under the title of “Poesia”. Later works include “Geografia” (1967), “Ilhas” (1990), “Musa” (1994), and “Signo” in 1994. She also published a collection of children’s stories that brought her more popular appeal. In 1999 she was awarded the laureate “Camões Prize for her outstanding contribution to Portuguese culture.




PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN PRINCESS
(Translated by Richard Zenith)

For her to have such a slender neck
For her wrists to bend like flower stems
For her eyes to be so clear and direct
Her back so straight
Her head so high
With such a natural glow on her forehead
It took successive generations of slaves
With stooping bodies and patient rough hands
Serving successive generations of princes
Still a bit coarse still a bit crude
Cruel greedy and conniving

It took an enormous squandering of life
For her to be
That lonely exiled aimless perfection

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a British novelist living and working in New York.

I was deeply moved by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen's poem about the Princess. How crystalline is the imagery and how simple yet elegant is the structure. What a wonderful discovery you have provided for me.

Thank you,

Anna Ray-Jones

May 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
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