the process is the artwork

Fear (Medo)

What we should fear the most is fear itself.

“Who sleeps with me at night is my secret/But if you insist on knowing I will reveal/Fear sleeps with me (…) Scream if you can help me/From what is within/I wished to die/But I know that he will be waiting anyway/Near the foot of the bridge” (my translation of Amalia Rodrigues’ famous interpretaion of Reinaldo Ferreira’s poem Medo. Music by Alain Oulman)

Quem dorme à noite comigo
É meu segredo,
Mas se insistirem, lhes digo,
O medo mora comigo,
Mas só o medo, mas só o medo.

E cedo porque me embala
Num vai-vem de solidão,
É com silêncio que fala,
Com voz de móvel que estala
E nos perturba a razão.

Gritar quem pode salvar-me
Do que está dentro de mim
Gostava até de matar-me,
Mas eu sei que ele há-de esperar-me
Ao pé da ponte do fim.

4 responses

  1. Pingback: Innocence Lost? « Refuse to be a coward

  2. “Ao pé da ponte do fim” has an end/death reference which i think its not present on “Near the foot of the bridge”

    February 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  3. Thanks for your comment! I agree there are better translations. I thought the death reference was still present, as a bridge represents a threashold – for instance between this world and the next. I also added “anyway” after “But I know that he will be waiting”, which points to the previous verse, where death is mentioned.

    I would really appreciate a better suggestion!
    Translating poetry and litereature is very difficult indeed🙂


    February 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm

  4. Traduttore traditore🙂 Ponte do fim its almost as explicit as a corpse. im not an english poetry reader so you cant count on me for the suggestions. i do read Pessoa both in portuguese and spanish, if you are somehow intrested in fado and in Portugal im sure Pessoa would be appreciated and he probably got good translators, maybe Pessoa´s translations would help, climbing through Pessoa and descending through Ferreira.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm

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