Poems from the Portuguese set out to publish translations into English of poetry written since 2000 by living Portuguese poets. Sadly, since 2011 when this site was launched, some featured poets have died.
Each poet is suggested by another participating poet, and her/his poetry is introduced by the latter in a short note. This chain means that other poets are progressively being added. We feature one or two poets a month: either new ones, or one who has sent new poems to add to her/his own page.
Thus the dynamics of this website are driven by the poets themselves.
This website was put together following an idea of Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, Chairman of the CNC (Centro Nacional de Cultura), one of the best established cultural organisations in Portugal.
We welcome comments and suggestions from our readers who will also be able to register with us to be kept abreast with new additions and other developments (see links above).
Please note that each poet owns the copyright in all his/her poems.
The website is run by Ana Hudson, with the endorsement of the CNC. It has also received a grant from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
In this work, I aim at a translation that follows the original as closely as possible. I make no attempt to follow particular metres, but I seek to keep, as best I can, a rhythm which embodies each poet’s voice. In most instances, I do not always try to reproduce rhymes or half rhymes but have found, nevertheless, that they can miraculously occur, lending to the poem a pace which may be remarkably close to that of the original.
I would like to acknowledge the enormous generosity and receptiveness that I keep encountering from every single poet willing to contribute to this site, with poems and time, and some with their own translations, and particularly those first few who started ‘the ball rolling’. Without them all, there would be nothing.
I certainly could not have done without the precious collaboration of Gabriel Gbadamosi in revising with me, painstankingly, the translation of so many of the poems and, more often than not, suggesting the precise little change that will make the difference.
I also want to thank a few people to whom I am truly indebted: my husband Mark for his unrelenting support, encouragement and reassurance; Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins for having the idea for this website and for trusting me with it;
Ricardo Campos Leitão for the immense help and enthusiasm in the creation of the site’s present version and for the video recordings with Frederico Andrade’s collaboration; Miko Giedroyc for having set to music some poems;
Nuno Félix da Costa for the Lisbon photographs; Teresa Tamen for her permanent good will and help; and last but by no means least, the various English and Portuguese friends who sporadically read the translations and commented positively on this adventure.
And in a very special way, I want to remember Guy Barker, a poet and a friend, who very sadly died in March 2009, for being the first person to tell me that I could translate poetry.