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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Translation, please (and, thank you)

"Black Boat" by Henry Gasser

I am deeply grateful for "Padra" who wrote me off line and sent me these English words to the Portuguese Fado "Barco Negro" - Black Boat - (see below) which she, herself, translated for me.

It's interesting, but I found that my own translation was not so far off from "Padra's" and, as she notes, saudade itself doesn't really require it. It's not about the words so much as the story and the sound of the soul, which Mariza captures so beautifully.

This has given me courage to finally make the commitment to (re)learn Portuguese this fall. I'll be doing the research for courses nearby to my home and signing up for a course today or tomorrow. Strangely, I feel my heart soaring, even as I write this.

And thanks so very much to JCF who sent this link to hear both Amalia and Mariza sing. I feel so very blessed by your generosity.

"Barco Negro"

In the morning I was afraid that you found me ugly/
I woke up, trembling, as I lay in the sand/
But immediately your eyes said no/
And the sun penetrated into my heart.

I saw afterwards, in a rock, a cross (trouble)/
And your black boat was dancing in the light/
I saw your waving arm between the sails as you loosened them/
The old women of the beach say that you are not returning.

They are crazy! They are crazy!

I know, my love/
That you did not arrive to leave/
Since everything, all around me/
Tells me that you are always with me.

In the wind that tosses sand in the glasses/
In the water that sings, in the dim fire/
In the heat of the bed, in the empty seats/
Inside my breast, you are always with me.

The translation is not precise, but fado, like saudade itself, probably doesn't require it.


Bill said...

My hat's off to you. I have enough trouble just with English. I've been speaking and writing it all my life and I still feel like a novice.

JCF said...

Heh: isn't that the boat they found in the middle of The Island, on Lost? ;-/

[And you're most welcome, Elizabeth. :-)

I keep trying to play "matchmaker", between you and PaganSphinx. If PS's daughter (known to her readers as "SuperGirl 1" *g*) marries her girlfriend in the spring, I think you would be a great officiant---perhaps in Portuguese? ;-)]

Kynthia said...

Thanks so much for this translation!
I was listening to this live version of the fado by Mariza [] and I just, you know, had to know the meaning of the lyrics.

Thanks again <: