Alphabe Thursday O is for O brasileiro
O brasileiro deplora
O interesse de amar
Seus costumes, sua música
Quer os outros imitar
Povo assim e muito fácil
Doutro país dominar
The Brazilian deplores the interest of love; and that others want to try its customs and music; people like this will easily dominate …
For many years I studied and translated Greek, Latin, and later Sanskrit poetry The poets wrote of love, despair, war and peace, and their country. They sang of the glorious past and the doom of the day; other dreamed of the magnificent future.
To understand a dead language it is vital to be aware of the culture and background of the poets. Not so easy when we are 2 millennium apart.
Sometimes, the poem was incomplete; only a line or two; from these words and much background knowledge (gained not by me, I might add, but by centuries of scholarship) I might decipher a word or two.
Here I am with a fragment of a poem in a modern language and still I struggle to understand the poet; who in turn seems to battle himself with Brazil, her people and their culture … it seems we, worldwide and for centuries have difficulties unraveling life, let alone one verse of poetry …