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Sobre Antonio Miranda

















 (b. 1913) studied law at the University of Brazil and English Literature at Oxford University in England. He became a diplomat in 1943, and served in Los Angeles, París, and Montevideo. He has transponed the lyricism characteristic of his poetry into popular music, and today is considered to be "the Pope of Bossa Nova." He is aiso interested in the cinema, and wrote the script for Marcel Camus's film Black Orpheus.





Como de cera

E por acaso

Fria no vaso

A entardecer


A pera é um pomo

Em holocausto

À vida, como

Um seio exausto


Entre bananas


E maçãs lhanas


Rubras, contentes

A pobre pera:

Quem manda ser a?





          Translated by Ashley Brown


As if of wax

And by chance

Cold in the dish

Growing late


The pear is a fruit

Burnt offering

To life, like

A breast exhausted


Among bananas


And apples, candid


Ruddy, content

The poor pear:

Who brings it to be?





De tudo, ao meu amor serei atento

Antes, e com tal zelo, e sempre, e tanto

Que mesmo em face do maior encanto

Dele se encante mais meu pensamento.


Quero vivê-lo em cada vão momento

E em seu louvor hei de espalhar meu canto

E rir meu riso e derramar meu pranto

Ao seu pesar ou seu contentamento.


E assim, quando mais tarde me procure

Quem sabe a morte, angustia de quem vive

Quem sabe a solidão, fim de quem ama


Eu possa me dizer do amor (que tive):

Que não seja imortal, posto que é chama

Mas que seja infinito enquanto dure.





          Translated by Ashley Brown


Above all, to my love I'11 be attentive

First, and always with such ardor, so much

That even when confronted by this great

Enchantment my thoughts ascend to more delight.


I want to live it through in each vain moment

And in its honor I must spread my song

And laugh with my delight and shed my tears

When she is sad or when she is contented.


And thus, when afterward comes looking for me

Who knows what death, anxiety of the living,

Who knows what loneliness, end of the loving


I could say to myself of the love (I had):

Let it not be immortal, since it is flame

But let it be infinite while it lasts.






De repente do riso fez-se o pranto

Silencioso e branco como a bruma

E das bocas unidas fez-se a espuma

E das mãos espalmadas fez-se o espanto.


De repente da calma fez-se o vento

Que dos olhos desfez a última chama

E da paixão fez-se o pressentimento

E do momento imóvel fez-se o drama.


De repente, não mais que de repente

Fez-se de triste o que se fez amante

E de sozinho o que se fez contente


Fez-se do amigo próximo o distante

Fez-se da vida uma aventura errante

De repente, não mais que de repente.





          Translated by Ashley Brown


Suddenly laughter became sobbing

Silent and white like the mist

And united mouths became foam

And upturned hands became astonished.


Suddenly the calm became the wind

That extinguished the last flame in the eye

And passion became foreboding

And the still moment became drama.


Suddenly, no more than suddenly

He who'd become a lover became sad

And he who'd become content became lon


The near became the distant friend

Life became a vagrant venture

Suddenly, no more than suddenly.





Não leves nunca de mim

A filha que tu me deste

A doce, úmida, tranquila

Filhinha que tu me deste

Deixa-a, que bem me persiga

Seu balbucio celeste.

Não leves; deixa-a comigo

Que bem me persiga, a fim

De que eu não queira comigo

A primogênita em mim

A fria, seca, encruada

Filha que a morte me deu

Que vive dessedentada

Do leite que não é seu

E que de noite me chama

Com a voz mais triste que há

E pra dizer que me ama

E pra chamar-me de pai.

Não deixes nunca partir

A filha que tu me deste

A fim de que eu não prefira

A outra, que é mais agreste

Mas que não parte de mim.





          Translated by Richard Wilbur


Never take her away,

The daughter whom you gave me,

The gentle, moist, untroubled

Small daughter whom you gave me;

O let her heavenly babbling

Beset me and enslave me.

Don't take her; let her stay,

Beset my heart, and win me,

That I may put away

The firstborn child within me,

That cold, petrific, dry

Daughter whom death once gave,

Whose life is a long cry

For milk she may not have,

And who, in the night-time, calls me

In the saddest voice that can be

Father, Father, and tells me

Of the love she feels for me.

Don't let her go away,

Her whom you gave — my daughter —

Lest I should come to favor

That wilder one, that other

Who does not leave me ever.



translated and edited, with the help of Yolanda Leite, by
Bloominghton: Indiana University Press,, 1962



Imitation of Rilke


Someone who is watching me from the depth of night

With motionless eyes shining in the night

Wants me.


Someone who is watching me from the depth of night

(A woman who loves me, lost in the night?)

Calls me.


Someone who is watching me from the depth of night

(Is it you, Poetry, holding a vigil in the night?)

Wants me.


Someone who is watching me from the depth of night

(Death also comes from the solitudes of night... )

Who is it?



Longing for Manuel Bandeira


You were not merely a secret

Of poetry and of emotion:

You were a star in my exile—

Poet, father! stern brother.


You not only took me to your bosom,

But you also gave me your hand:

I, very small—you, elect

Poet! father, stern brother.


Clear, tall and ascetic friend

Of the sad and pure heart:


What do you dream so much all by yourself—

Poet, father, stern brother?



The Acrobats


Let us go up!

Go up higher

Go up beyond, go up

Above beyond, let us go up!

With the physical possession of our arms

We will inexorably climb

The great oceans of stars

Through thousands of years of light.


Let us go up!

Like two acrobats

Our faces petrified

In the faint smile of effort

Let us go up farther

With the physical possession of our arms

And the measureless muscles

In the convulsive calm of ascension.


Oh, higher

Farther than everything

Beyond, farther than above beyond!

Like two acrobats

Let us go up, very slowly

There where infinity

Is so infinite

That it has not even a name

Let us go up!



By the luminous rope

Which hangs invisible

And whose knots are stars

Burning our hands

Let us rise to the surface

Of the huge ocean of stars

Where night sleeps

Let us go up!


You and I, hermetic

Our buttocks taut

Our carotid knotted

In the neck fiber

Our sharp feet pointing

As in spasm.


And when,

Above, there

Beyond, farther than over beyond

Farther than Betelgeuse's veil

After Altair's country

On God's brain

In a last impetus

Freed from the spirit

Stripped from the flesh

We shall possess one another.


And we shall die

We shall die high, immensely



AN INTRODUCTION TO MODERN BRAZILIAN POETRY. Verse translations by Leonard S. Downes.  [São Paulo]: Clube de Poesia do Brasil, 1954.  84 p.   14x20 cm.  “ Leonard S. Downes “ Ex. Biblioteca Nacional de Brasília.




In your immense "white body there I stayed.

Your eyes were livid and I -was full oif fear.

Already you had lost your shadows — like a great

                                                 [desert of sand

Where I had fallen after an endless, nightless march.

In my anguish I sought the peaceful landscape

You had for so long given me

But all was barren, monstrous, lifeless

And your breasts like dunes tfne wind had swept away.

Dying, I tremlbled, tried to rise

But your body Was as quick-sand to my hands.

I would lie still and pray but I was drowning, drowned

                                                                     [in you,

Dragged down unto your disintegrated self, which closes

                                   [like the whirlpool over me.

Afterwards came sleep, darkness and death.

When I awoke it was already day and I was newly born

New-born Sn fear foam out your womb.




POESIA SEMPRE.  Revista da Biblioteca Nacional do RJ.   Ano 1 – Número 2 – Julho 1993.  Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Biblioteca Nacional / Ministério da Cultura – Departamento Nacional do Livro.   ISSN 0104-0626m   Ex. bibl. Antonio Miranda


Sonnet of intimacy


Farm afternoons, there's much too much blue air.
I go out sometimes, follow the pasture track,
Chewing a blade of sticky grass, chest bare,
In threadbare pajamas of three summers back,


To the little rivulets in the river-bed
For a drink of water, cold and musical.
And if I spot in the brush a glow of red,
A raspberry, spit its blood at the corral.


The smell of cow manure is delicious.

The cattle look at me unenviously

And when there comes a sudden stream and hiss


Accompanied by a look not unmalicious,
All of us, animals, unemotionally
Partake together of a pleasant piss.



Translated by Elizabeth Bishop









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