António Ramos Rosa, A Virtual Character
from A Nuvem Sobre a Página (1978)
António Ramos Rosa was born in 1924 along the southern coast of Portugal, the Algarve. I went there often as a child, even wrote some prose about it once. It is an inspiring place, but that inspiration reached Ramos Rosa with different streaks, different impressions. He is still regarded by many as a poet’s poet: cunning in his usage of our most complex grammatical constructions, terribly overbearing in his persistence to also abuse our worst ones, and, above all, meticulous, incredibly meticulous, plagued by the same lack of fluidity that Wallace Stevens has, but with much of the same unimaginable twisting of depth Stevens was so fond of. I will mark this translation for revision someday, as I’m sure returning to it multiple times will produce inevitably different outcomes, but it is still a poem a find moving regardless of the language, and, as always, largely (or fully) untranslated. Richard Zenith is, so far, the only one who has translated his work, and he has done only for a dozen of compositions that would go on to integrate translated anthologies. In the ocean-sized work of Ramos Rosa, which is now being fully made available in two separate tomes exceeding 2000 pages, a dozen poems represents less than a drop of water, though any real efforts of translation, considering the peculiar complexity of his work as well as volume, would no doubt be herculean. Still, I have some other poems of the first tome already translated and some yet to translate, and I’m slowly collecting funds for the second tome, which I shall purchase eventually.
Below I will include the PDF of the translation as one large document page as seen here, for those with difficulties reading the image format or those who would like to keep it.
Thank you for reading,