Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Margarida Vale de Gato

DIANA

‘I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important
beyond all this fiddle,’ Marianne Moore said about
poetry. In any case, she was able
to see mitochondria and all the other
tiny lives – eye fixed
on the minute blotch of watercolor
compressed between two glass slides
the pupil round with wonder
just before mystery: to know what it was.  

Is it more important to observe or to designate?
I fear sometimes I look askew
forget the tree where I left my keys  
and my notebook, then I don’t know what to call
what, kind or relation, though I find 
tranquility in the arcane language of the plane trees
behind the plaques in the botanical garden.
So I serve badly, I’m other, the odd one
out, a tourist here in so much

that pleases me and is work.
But it’s still not said (or is) if I insist
on my small scale in this myself
it’s because I don’t disconnect and touch and fail
at what’s in plain sight, raw
language clear in brute sky

DIANA

‘Ook ik houd er niet van: er bestaan belangrijker dingen
buiten al dit gebazel’1, zei Marianne
Moore over poëzie. Verder kon ze
mitochondria en ander miniem leven
waarnemen – oog gefixeerd
op de kleine aquarelvlek
geklemd tussen microscoopglaasjes
pupil rond in verwondering voorafgaand
aan het mysterie: weten wat het was.

Is observeren belangrijker dan benoemen?
Mijn blik dwaalt soms vrees ik
ik vergeet de boom waar ik mijn sleutels
en mijn schrift liet, later weet ik niet hoe
het heet, soort of verwantschap, al vind ik
rust in de raadseltaal van de platanen
achter de bordjes in de botanische tuin.
Kortom, ik pas niet, ben een ander, buiten
de boot, toerist hier in zo veel

wat me plezier en enig werk verschaft.
Maar nog niet gezegd (of wel) is dat als ik
op mijn kleine schaal hierin volhard dat
is omdat ik niet opgeef en raak en mistast
aan het zichtbaar materiaal, rauwe
klare taal in ruwe hemel

DIANA

“Eu cá também não gosto, há mais coisas
além deste desconchavo”, dizia Marianne
Moore da poesia. De resto, conseguia
ver mitocôndrias e as demais
pequenas vidas – olho fixo
na miúda mancha de aguarela
comprimida entre vidros de lamela
redonda a pupila em maravilha
prévia ao mistério: saber o que era.

Mais importa observar ou designar?
Eu erro no olhar receio às vezes
esqueço a árvore onde deixei as chaves
e o caderno, depois não sei chamar
o quê, espécie ou parentesco, ache embora
sossego na língua arcana dos plátanos
atrás das placas do jardim botânico.
Portanto sirvo mal, sou outra, fora
do baralho, turista aqui em tanto

do que me dá prazer e algum trabalho.
Mas não está dito ainda (ou está) se insisto
à minha pouca escala nisto eu
é porque não desligo e toco e falho
no material à vista, língua
crua clara em bruto céu
Close

DIANA

‘I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important
beyond all this fiddle,’ Marianne Moore said about
poetry. In any case, she was able
to see mitochondria and all the other
tiny lives – eye fixed
on the minute blotch of watercolor
compressed between two glass slides
the pupil round with wonder
just before mystery: to know what it was.  

Is it more important to observe or to designate?
I fear sometimes I look askew
forget the tree where I left my keys  
and my notebook, then I don’t know what to call
what, kind or relation, though I find 
tranquility in the arcane language of the plane trees
behind the plaques in the botanical garden.
So I serve badly, I’m other, the odd one
out, a tourist here in so much

that pleases me and is work.
But it’s still not said (or is) if I insist
on my small scale in this myself
it’s because I don’t disconnect and touch and fail
at what’s in plain sight, raw
language clear in brute sky

DIANA

‘I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important
beyond all this fiddle,’ Marianne Moore said about
poetry. In any case, she was able
to see mitochondria and all the other
tiny lives – eye fixed
on the minute blotch of watercolor
compressed between two glass slides
the pupil round with wonder
just before mystery: to know what it was.  

Is it more important to observe or to designate?
I fear sometimes I look askew
forget the tree where I left my keys  
and my notebook, then I don’t know what to call
what, kind or relation, though I find 
tranquility in the arcane language of the plane trees
behind the plaques in the botanical garden.
So I serve badly, I’m other, the odd one
out, a tourist here in so much

that pleases me and is work.
But it’s still not said (or is) if I insist
on my small scale in this myself
it’s because I don’t disconnect and touch and fail
at what’s in plain sight, raw
language clear in brute sky
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
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