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Poetry

From “Clarice: The Visitor”

By Idra Novey
Translated from English by Flávia Rocha
Listen in original language
 
 

I

        “At three in the afternoon, I’m the most demanding woman
in the world . . . When it’s over, six in the afternoon comes, also
indescribable, in which I turn blind.”
-Lispector to Fernando Sabino, 1946

Dear C, I’m turning from.
Have been syntaxed and stirred into a purple.
Blurred to blind.
I made a mess of page twenty-two,
couldn’t resurrect what you left unsaid
into words that wouldn’t.
Do you believe in grieving?
I mean for language, the endangered
animal of, fleeing into caves.
I can only keep after it in fits
or I get trapped
in the keeping after.  That,
and bliss.
Your spinning but devoted
I.N.

© 2014 by Idra Novey, from 2015 Cahier Series with Sylph Editions. By arrangement with the author.

English English

I

        “At three in the afternoon, I’m the most demanding woman
in the world . . . When it’s over, six in the afternoon comes, also
indescribable, in which I turn blind.”
-Lispector to Fernando Sabino, 1946

Dear C, I’m turning from.
Have been syntaxed and stirred into a purple.
Blurred to blind.
I made a mess of page twenty-two,
couldn’t resurrect what you left unsaid
into words that wouldn’t.
Do you believe in grieving?
I mean for language, the endangered
animal of, fleeing into caves.
I can only keep after it in fits
or I get trapped
in the keeping after.  That,
and bliss.
Your spinning but devoted
I.N.

© 2014 by Idra Novey, from 2015 Cahier Series with Sylph Editions. By arrangement with the author.

De “Clarice: The Visitor”

I

“Às três horas da tarde sou a mulher mais exigente do
mundo . . . Quando passa, vêm seis da tarde, também
indescritíveis, em que eu fico cega.”
-Lispector para Fernando Sabino, 1946

Querida C, estou me afastando.
Fui sintaxada e misturada em roxo.
Embaçada até a cegueira.
Fiz uma bagunça na página vinte e dois,
não consegui ressuscitar o que você deixou de dizer
em palavras que não seriam.
Você acredita em luto?
Quero dizer, de linguagem, esse animal
ameaçado, refugiado em cavernas.
Só consigo cuidar dele em crise
ou fico presa no cuidar. Isso,
e felicidade.
Da sua oscilante mas devotada
I.N.

 

© 2014 by Idra Novey, from 2015 Cahier Series with Sylph Editions. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2016 by Flávia Rocha. All rights reserved.

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