20 December 2011

João Cabral de Melo Neto

[from João Cabral de Melo Neto in Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry, ed. Stephen Tapscott, Texas, 1996]

Weaving the Morning


One rooster does not weave a morning,
he will always need the other roosters,
one to pick up the shout that he
and toss it to another, another rooster
to pick up the shout that a rooster before him
and toss it to another, and other roosters
with many other roosters to criss-cross
the sun-threads of their rooster-shouts
so that the morning, starting from a frail cobweb,
may go on being woven, among all the roosters.


And growing larger, becoming a cloth,
pitching itself a tent where they all may enter,
inter-unfurling itself for them all, in the tent
(the morning) which soars free of ties and ropes –
the morning, tent of a weave so light
that, woven, it lifts itself through itself: balloon light.

tr. Galway Kinnell

João Cabral de Melo Neto


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