NaPoWriMo Post #16 A “translation” of DANÇA by Eugénio de Andrade

The prompt on day 16 on NaPoWriMo is to do a “translation” of a poem in a language that you don’t speak. We’re instructed to go to the Poetry International Language List, choose a language, then a poet and finally a poem.

Ok i’m just cutting and pasting from the Napowrimo site, “Generally the Poetry International website will present a poem in its original language on the left, and any translation on the right. Cut and paste the original into the text-editing program of your choice (and try not to peek too much at the translation). Now, use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.”

The language I’ve selected is Portuguese, which is not in my repertoire of languages, but I love how it sounds when I hear it in songs. Gosh Paulinho Moska sounds hot! The poet I’ve selected is Eugénio de Andrade’s DANÇA.


Eram a delicadeza, a graça.
Mas também a fúria
da gataria ardendo nos telhados.

São jovens e dançam – formosos
como as dunas, os trigos, os cavalos.

© 1997, Eugénio de Andrade
From: Pequeno Formato
Publisher: Fundação Eugénio de Andrade, Oporto, 1997

Since I don’t speak Portuguese, so i thought that this poem would be a good challenge to try. I speak 8 other languages instead, and yes I am a nerd. Not thinking too much, (since it’s 0202 hrs) and just following the sound and shape of the words, this is what I ended up with.

Ever delicate, and graceful
May in tandem be furious
The guitars are now tuneless

Show joy of dancing – fabulous
Come and dine, or drink, or cavort.

© Faridah Masniari 2013

Now slightly cracking my brains, and using what language skills I somewhat have learned and of similar sounding words, this is what I came up with after that exercise


They are delicate, and graceful
But also furious
Like cats on burning roofs.

The young and dancing – lovely
like the dunes, the wheat, the horses


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