The Cataclysm and the Songs

by Conceição Lima

Happy what remains of me, after me
If just one of the sung songs
Lives beyond the person who sings in me now.
Yet I would not save from the massacre [literally: hecatomb]
A single one of the songs I sang and sing.
From the entrails of oblivion
I would instead steal the laughter of children
and the age of the proverb.
And so I would offer intact   [Assim - also = Like this / in this way]
To those to come the enigma of light.   [posterity, future generations - os

The literal translation of this poem was made by Stefan Tobler

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop


  1. August 29th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Gerald Kithinji says:

    I wish you would show both the original and the translation. Some of us know several languages and would like to compare.

    The PTC Responds: And we wish you could READ! Our poems are published in THREE versions: the original, a literal translation and a final translation.

  2. June 14th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Christy says:

    Keep it coming, this is good stuff.