by Eugénio de Andrade
Translated from the Portuguese by Alexis Levitin
Eugénio de Andrade, Portugal’s best-known living poet, is the author of twenty-nine volumes of poetry as well as numerous children’s books, collections of prose writings, and translations into Poruguese of Sappho, Federico García Lorca, and Yannis Ritsos. Forbidden Words: Selected Poetry of Eugénio de Andrade, is based on the poet’s own retrospective Antologia Breve (“Brief Anthology”) of 1998, expanded and edited for English-speaking readers by his longtime translator, Alexis Levitin. Marguerite Yourcenar spoke of “the well-tempered clavier” of Andrade’s poems, Gregory Rabassa of his “succinct lyricism… summing things up in a moment, much like haiku.” His verse, deeply rooted in the rural landscapes of his childhood and in the ancient Greek lyric, have the clarity of light on sand, radiating pagan intimations of immortality.