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Lamentation to Move Jonathan

By Adélia Prado Poetry

Are diamonds indestructible? My love is more. Is the sea immense? My love is greater, more beautiful unadorned than a field of flowers. Sadder than death, more despondent than a wave beating the cliff, tougher than the rock. My love loves and knows nothing more than that it loves. ⋅ Translated from the Portuguese by…

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Daughter of the Ancient Law

By Adélia Prado Poetry

God does not give me peace. God is my goad. He bites my heel like a snake, makes himself verb, meat, glass shard, stone against which my head bleeds. I cannot rest in this love. I cannot sleep in the light of this eye fixed on me. I want to return to my mother’s womb,…

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The Girl and the Fruit

By Adélia Prado Poetry

One day, picking guavas with the girl, she lowered the branch and said to the air —unaware that she was teaching me— Guava is a blessed fruit. Her movement, her illuminated face agitated the dust and spirit in the air: The Kingdom is within us; God dwells in us. There is no escaping the hunger…

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The Scar

By Adélia Prado Poetry

The theologians all err when they describe God in their treatises. You sharpen me until I could have made that irreparable cut. God will be born again to rescue me. Kill me, Jonathan, with your knife. Free me from the captivity of time. I want to understand your nails; the plan is not fixed, your…

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Dinner with Dona Adélia

By Jessica Goudeau Essay

Jessica Goudeau’s translations of the work of Adélia Prado, Brazil’s foremost living poet, appear in Image issue 91.   The night I met Dona Adélia, she told me my husband was the perfect man. She came to the University of Texas for a poetry reading with her longtime translator and editor, Ellen Doré Watson. At…

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If Penetrated by Light

By Peggy Rosenthal Book Review

If Penetrated by Light: Five Poets Consider the Darkness The Fortieth Day by Kazim Ali (BOA Editions, 2008) Astonishment: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska ——-Translated by Grazyna Drabik and David Curzon (Paraclete Press, 2007) The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adélia Prado ——-Translated by Ellen Watson (Wesleyan University Press, 1990) Hovering at a…

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Divine Wrath

By Adélia Prado Poetry

When I was wounded whether by God, the devil, or myself —I don’t know yet which— it was seeing the sparrows again and clumps of clover, after three days, that told me I hadn’t died. When I was young, all it took were those sparrows, those lush little leaves, for me to sing praises, dedicate…

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Domus

By Adélia Prado Poetry

Eyes set into the ridgepole, the house peers down at the man. Now and then the ears tremble, Such sensitive, discerning walls: love one minute, invective the next, then fist-pounding panic. God is touched by the house the man has made, God whose eyes peer down from the ridgepole of the world. The house begs…

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Buried Treasure

By Adélia Prado Poetry

Farther away the closer it gets, time outwits science. This fossil is how many millions of years old? The same age as my pain. Love laughs at swagger, men sleepless over their calculators. The invisible enemy decks himself out to keep me from saying what makes me eternal: O world! I’ve loved you ever since…

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