Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Lêdo Ivo

INCOMPLETE SILENCE

What an incomplete silence among so many sounds!
Now, and only now, they are trying to tell us
that they loved and they forgot, and always remained far
from any final truth. Love is an unredeemable
debt contracted in the dark
and only death can free the debtors from default.

Everything will reach its end in an ocean of shadows.
The dead also cease, after so many tears,
and masses sung and notices in the daily newspapers.
We are born to evaporate, after having been
water lapping at the boatyard launching ramp.
We are born to say our name to the wind.

Our bodies crawled to the entrance of the cave.
But where were our souls at that moment
of ecstasy and bondage? They were hidden
like bats, sleeping, as placid as placentas.

DE ONVOLLEDIGE STILTE

Hoe onvolledig deze stilte, te midden van zoveel geluiden!
Nu, pas nu proberen ze ons te zeggen
dat ze hebben liefgehad, hebben vergeten, en altijd ver gebleven zijn
van de uiteindelijke waarheid. Liefde is een niet
te delgen schuld, in ’t duister aangegaan
en slechts de dood verlost de wanbetalers.
 
Alles zal ten einde komen in een oceaan van schaduwen.
Ook de doden komen aan hun eind, na zoveel tranen
en gezongen missen en berichten in de krant.
Wij zijn geboren om te verdampen, nadat wij het water
op de werfhelling geweest zijn.
Wij zijn geboren om onze namen in de wind te zeggen.
 
Onze lichamen hebben zich tot aan de ingang van de grot gesleept.
Maar waar waren de zielen op dat ogenblik
van slaafsheid en vervoering? Ze gingen schuil
als vleermuizen, ze sliepen, placide als placenta’s.

O SILÊNCIO INCOMPLETO

Que silêncio incompleto entre tantos rumores!
Agora, e só agora, eles tentam dizer-nos
que amaram e esqueceram, e sempre ficaram longe
da verdade final. O amor é uma dívida
irresgatável contraída na escuridão
e só morte libera os pagadores relapsos.

Tudo terminará num oceano de sombras.
Os mortos também acabam, após tantas lágrimas
e missas cantadas e anúncios nos jornais.
Nascemos para nos evaporar, após ter sido
a água que cobre a rampa do estaleiro.
Nascemos para dizer o nosso nome ao vento.

Nossos corpos rastejaram até a entrada da gruta.
Mas onde estavam as almas naquele instrante
de êxtase e servidão? Estavam escondidas
como os morcegos, dormiam plácidas como as placentas.
Close

INCOMPLETE SILENCE

What an incomplete silence among so many sounds!
Now, and only now, they are trying to tell us
that they loved and they forgot, and always remained far
from any final truth. Love is an unredeemable
debt contracted in the dark
and only death can free the debtors from default.

Everything will reach its end in an ocean of shadows.
The dead also cease, after so many tears,
and masses sung and notices in the daily newspapers.
We are born to evaporate, after having been
water lapping at the boatyard launching ramp.
We are born to say our name to the wind.

Our bodies crawled to the entrance of the cave.
But where were our souls at that moment
of ecstasy and bondage? They were hidden
like bats, sleeping, as placid as placentas.

INCOMPLETE SILENCE

What an incomplete silence among so many sounds!
Now, and only now, they are trying to tell us
that they loved and they forgot, and always remained far
from any final truth. Love is an unredeemable
debt contracted in the dark
and only death can free the debtors from default.

Everything will reach its end in an ocean of shadows.
The dead also cease, after so many tears,
and masses sung and notices in the daily newspapers.
We are born to evaporate, after having been
water lapping at the boatyard launching ramp.
We are born to say our name to the wind.

Our bodies crawled to the entrance of the cave.
But where were our souls at that moment
of ecstasy and bondage? They were hidden
like bats, sleeping, as placid as placentas.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère