The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2022

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JUNE 2022 Issue



Via Láctea, a nossa galáxia.
Dela somos
abelha unida
ao próprio enxame.

E entre miríades
a torrentosa espiral
lembra um caracol em sua casa.


Milky Way, our galaxy.
Out of it we’re
one swarm
of the hive.

Among millions
the whizzing spiral
recalls a snail back home.

Duas Quedas

Deixando abissal cratera
um meteoro despenhou-se
no deserto da Califórnia.

Depois, muito depois
um meteoro pequeníssimo
caiu sobre Hiroxima.

Two Falls

Leaving a bottomless crater
a shooting star crashed
in the California desert.

Later, much later
a very tiny one
fell on Hiroshima.


Antes de entrar no Zoo
compra-se o bilhete
a um sujeito
oito horas
dentro de pequena jaula.

Going In

Before entering the zoo
you buy a ticket
from some guy
eight hours
inside a small cage.

Jardim Zoológico

Apenas a alegria das crianças
o purifica de tanto mal.

The Zoo

Only the happiness of children
redeems it from so much wrong.


No início os cães
apenas parecem repousar,
ossos aí se calcinam,
ao chão se gruda o sangue
e aí se enterram.


At first the dogs
appear resting,
bones burning bones,
on the ground, blood congealing,
and there they are, interred.

A Girafa

É o meu guindaste.

E na curiosa,
alta cabeça
de olhos apavorados
–– aí me tem, seu gruísta.

The Giraffe

Is my derrick.

And in the odd,
lofty head
with panic-stricken eyes
–– she’s got me, her derring-do.


Cerdos vociferantes,
por fatalidade
da própria
curta vida
–– tudo sabem
aproveitar da vossa carne.

o cruciante
grito final.


Squealing pigs,
for their own
short life
–– we know how to profit
from all your flesh.

that excruciating
final scream.

O Veterinário Ambíguo

Recusava-se a ir ao matadouro.
O seu lugar era na consulta
externa. Com a grossa seringa,
a caixa de antibióticos, de bata
branca. Sabia liberalmente
falar-lhes. Assim falava
Aquiles com o seu cavalo
lamentado-se, jovem, de morrer.

The Ambiguous Veterinarian

He refused going to the slaughterhouse.
His place was office
visits. With the thick syringe,
the box of antibiotics, garbed in his
white gown. He actually knew
how to speak with them. Thus
Achilles spoke with his horse
lamenting that, young, he would die.

O Lobo

E Francisco disse ao lobo: “Tu, irmão
lobo, prometes respeitar este tratado, não
ofendendo animais ou pessoas?” E o lobo,
erguendo a pata direita, depô-la, como jura,
na mão do seu garante.

G. Lafenestre,
La legende de S. François d'Assise

Como de um amigo preso e transviado
aproximei-me e vi os olhos
de lobo dentro da cova
que para si abriu, altivos,
loucos, afinal desprezando-me.

Pardas de pobreza,
pupilas seguras do mal, inconciliáveis.
Jamais lhe estenderei a mão,
teria a sua paga.
Algo dele em mim encontra terrível.

The Wolf

And Francisco said to the wolf: “Brother wolf,
do you promise to respect this treaty, not
to harm animals or people?” And the wolf,
raising his right paw, placed it in the hand
of his guarantor, as he gave his word.

G. Lafenestre,
The Legend of Saint Francis of Assisi

As a friend led astray and trapped,
I approached and gazed at the eyes
of the wolf inside the hole
he’d dug, withering,
frenzied; in a word, loathing me.

Discolored from dearth,
the pupils certain of evil and unyielding.
Never will I offer him a hand,
I’d pay too dearly.
Something terrible of himself in me he finds.

Os Palhaços

Nenhum bicho
ri ou chora com eles.

É diferente
a animal

The Clowns

No critter
laughs or cries with them.

It’s different


António Osório

António Osório, originally from Setúbal, a port town south of Lisbon, was born in 1933 to a Portuguese father and an Italian mother. He practiced law by profession, serving both as the head of the Portuguese Bar Association and as president of the Portuguese Association for Environmental Law. His early books — A Raiz Afectuosa [The Tender Root] and A Ignorância da Morte [Ignorance of Death] — were both published in the 1970s to great acclaim in Portugal. Later books would earn him the Township of Lisbon Literary Prize (1982), the P.E.N. Club Portuguese Poetry Prize (1991), and the prestigious Portuguese National Authors Prize (2010) for his collected works A Luz Fraterna [Fraternal Light]. A Felicidade da Luz [Joy of Light], published by Assírio & Alvim in 2016, was his last book. António Osório passed away at his family home, in Lisbon, on November 18th, 2021, at the age of 88. The selection of ten poems translated were originally published in Portuguese in Planetário e Zoo dos Homens (Lisbon, ed. Presença, 1990) (Panetary and Zoo of Men).

Patricio Ferrari

Patricio Ferrari is a polyglot poet, literary translator, and editor. Born in Merlo to Piemontesi and Calabresi immigrants who settled in the outskirts of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th century, he left Argentina at the age of 16 to attend high school and play soccer in the United States as part of the Rotary Exchange Program. His most recent editions and translations are The Galloping Hour: French Poems by Alejandra Pizarnik (with Forrest Gander; New Directions, 2018) and The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro by Fernando Pessoa (with Margaret Jull-Costa; New Directions, 2020). Forthcoming translations include Verde amargo by Martin Corless-Smith (with Graciela S. Guglielmone; Buenos Aires Poetry, 2022), Habla terreña by Frank Stanford (with Guglielmone; Pre-Textos, 2023), and The Complete Works of Álvaro de Campos by Pessoa (with Jull-Costa, New Directions 2023). His work appears in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Southwest Review, Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, Buenos Aires Poetry, Perfil, among others. Currently residing in New York City, he is an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College, as well as at Rutgers University.

Susan Margaret Brown

Susan Margaret Brown is a professor, critic, and literary translator from the Portuguese. She holds a PhD. in Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a dissertation on the influence of Walt Whitman in Fernando Pessoa’s heteronymy. She co-translated with Edwin Honig two Pessoa books: The Keeper of Sheep (Riverdaleon-Hudson, New York: The Sheep Meadow Press, 1985) and Poems of Fernando Pessoa (New York: The Ecco Press, 1986 [1st ed.]; San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1998). Her work has been featured in The Paris Review, The Southwest Review, Pessoa Plural, among others. Brown resides in Providence, Rhode Island.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2022

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