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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

C.P. Cavafy - Half an Hour

I never had you, nor I suppose
will I ever have you. A few words, an approach,
as in the bar the other day—nothing more.
It’s sad, I admit. But we who serve Art,
sometimes with the mind’s intensity,
can create—but of course only for a short time—
pleasure that seems almost physical.
That’s how in the bar the other day—
mercifully helped by alcohol—
I had half an hour that was totally erotic.
And I think you understood this
and stayed slightly longer on purpose.
That was very necessary. Because
with all the imagination, with all the magic alcohol,
I needed to see your lips as well,
needed your body near me.


Reprinted from C. P. CAVAFY: Collected Poems Revised Edition, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, edited by George Savvidis.

C.P. Cavafy - Sweet Voices and Voices

Sweet Voices

Those voices are the sweeter which have fallen
            forever silent, mournfully
resounding only in the heart that sorrows.

In dreams the melancholic voices come,
            timorous and humble,
and bring before our feeble memory

the precious dead, whom the cold cold earth
            conceals; for whom the mirthful
daybreak never shines, nor springtimes blossom.

Melodious voices sigh; and in the soul
            our life’s first poetry
sounds — like music, in the night, that’s far away.


Imagined voices, and beloved, too,
of those who died, or of those who are
lost unto us like the dead.

Sometimes in our dreams they speak to us;
sometimes in its thought the mind will hear them.

And with their sound for a moment there return
sounds from the first poetry of our life—
like music, in the night, far off, that fades away.


Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn

C.P. Cavafy - Monotony


On one monotone day one more
monotone, indistinct day follows.  The same
things will happen, then recur—
moments all alike come upon us, and go away.
One month passes bringing one month more.
What comes next is easy enough to know:
the boredom from the day before.
And tomorrow’s got to where it seems like no tomorrow.

Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn


Την μια μονότονην ημέραν άλλη
μονότονη, απαράλλακτη ακολουθεί. Θα γίνουν
τα ίδια πράγματα. θα ξαναγίνουν πάλι—
η όμοιες στιγμές μας βρίσκουνε και μας αφίνουν.

Μήνας περνά και φέρνει άλλον μήνα.
Αυτά που έρχονται κανείς εύκολα τα εικάζει·
είναι τα χθεσινά τα βαρετά εκείνα.
Και καταντά το αύριο πια σαν αύριο να μη μοιάζει.

Konstantinos Kaváfis - Uma noite

Uma noite (1915)


Era pobre e sórdida a alcova,
escondida por cima da equívoca taberna.
Da janela via-se a ruela
suja e estreita. De baixo
subiam as vozes de uns operários
que, jogando às cartas, matavam o tempo.


E ali, numa cama mísera e vulgar
possuí o corpo do amor, possuí os lábios
sensuais e rosados de embriaguez -
rosados de tanta embriaguez que, mesmo agora,
quando escrevo, passados tantos anos,
sozinho em casa, volto a embriagar-me.


Konstantinos Kaváfis, 145 poemas, trad. e apresentação Manuel Resende, ed. Flop

C.P. Cavafy - He Asked about the Quality

He left the office where he’d taken up
a trivial, poorly paid job
(eight pounds a month, including bonuses)—
left at the end of the dreary work
that kept him bent all afternoon,
came out at seven and walked off slowly,
idling his way down the street. Good-looking;
and interesting: showing as he did that he’d reached
his full sensual capacity.
He’d turned twenty-nine the month before.
He idled his way down the main street
and the poor side-streets that led to his home.
Passing in front of a small shop
that sold cheap and flimsy things for workers,
he saw a face inside there, saw a figure
that compelled him to go in, and he pretended
he wanted to look at some colored handkerchiefs.
He asked about the quality of the handkerchiefs
and how much they cost, his voice choking,
almost silenced by desire.
And the answers came back the same way,
distracted, the voice hushed,
offering hidden consent.
They kept on talking about the merchandise—but
the only purpose: that their hands might touch
over the handkerchiefs, that their faces, their lips,
might move close together as though by chance—
a moment’s meeting of limb against limb.
Quickly, secretly, so the shopowner sitting at the back
wouldn’t realize what was going on.


Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

C.P. Cavafy - On The Ship

It certainly resembles him, this small
pencil likeness of him.


Quickly done, on the deck of the ship;
an enchanting afternoon.
The Ionian Sea all around us.


It resembles him. Still, I remember him as handsomer.
To the point of sickness—he was that sensitive,
and it illumined his expression.
Handsomer, he appears to me,
now that my soul recalls him, out of Time.


Out of Time. All these things, they’re very old—
The sleuth, and the ship, and the afternoon


Translated from the Greek by Daniel Mendelsohn.

C.P. Cavafy - À Espera dos Bárbaros (Trad. Jorge de Sena)

O que esperamos nós em multidão no Forum?


Os Bárbaros, que chegam hoje.


Dentro do Senado, porque tanta inacção?
Se não estão legislando, que fazem lá dentro os senadores?


É que os Bárbaros chegam hoje.
Que leis haveriam de fazer agora os senadores?
Os Bárbaros, quando vierem, ditarão as leis.


Porque é que o Imperador se levantou de manhã cedo?
E às portas da cidade está sentado,
no seu trono, com toda a pompa, de coroa na cabeça?


Porque os Bárbaros chegam hoje.
E o Imperador está à espera do seu Chefe
para recebê-lo. E até já preparou
um discurso de boas-vindas, em que pôs,
dirigidos a ele, toda a casta de títulos.


E porque saíram os dois Cônsules, e os Pretores,
hoje, de toga vermelha, as suas togas bordadas?
E porque levavam braceletes, e tantas ametistas,
e os dedos cheios de anéis de esmeraldas magníficas?
E porque levavam hoje os preciosos bastões,
com pegas de prata e as pontas de ouro em filigrana?


Porque os Bárbaros chegam hoje,
e coisas dessas maravilham os Bárbaros.


E porque não vieram hoje aqui, como é costume, os oradores
para discursar, para dizer o que eles sabem dizer?


Porque os Bárbaros é hoje que aparecem,
e aborrecem-se com eloquências e retóricas.


Porque, sùbitamente, começa um mal-estar,
e esta confusão? Como os rostos se tornaram sérios!
E porque se esvaziam tão depressa as ruas e as praças,
e todos voltam para casa tão apreensivos?


Porque a noite caiu e os Bárbaros não vieram.
E umas pessoas que chegaram da fronteira
dizem que não há lá sinal de Bárbaros.


E agora, que vai ser de nós sem os Bárbaros?
Essa gente era uma espécie de solução.


[Antes de 1911]

C.P. Cavafy - The City

You said: "I'll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I've spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally."


You won't find a new country, won't find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Don't hope for things elsewhere:
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you've wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you've destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

Birthday Poem.

C.P. Cavafy - An Old Man


at the noisy end of the café, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.


and in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.


he knows he's aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
so brief an interval, so very brief.


and he thinks of prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed—what madness—
that cheat who said: "tomorrow. you have plenty of time."


he remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.


but so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. he falls asleep,
his head resting on the café table.