Poetry and prose

The poesia of famous Brazilian journalist Leila Cordeiro

Leila Cordeiro
Leila Cordeiro

I have known this artist from the womb – literally. In between walking around burning buildings and through favelas as a TV reporter, interviewing presidents and legendary celebrities, sitting in the TV studios of Brazil’s biggest cities to announce some of the world’s most dramatic events of the 80s and 90s (YouTube has some proof), and raising two feisty children, Leila Cordeiro managed to write two poetry books. She also later produced a number of paintings, which I want to persuade her to let me post here in the near future. She must have whispered some poetry in my ear when I was a baby, because by first grade I was writing poetry, too; and watching her and my father on TV, sensing their (perpetual) lust for journalism, and listening to them talk passionately about politics have, without a doubt, deeply shaped my tastes and the career paths I have chosen. Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge how similar we are to our parents, but I must say that I am proud to realize and admit their indelible influence. Today I will focus on the poetry, though. It’s in Portuguese; the author asked if she should translate it into English and I said no, because I felt it might lose some of its essence when translated. Plus I highly encourage other languages here, as you may have noticed from our previous post.

I will translate, however, her opening statement describing the featured poem, which says: “It is part of one of my books, [whose title would translate into] ‘With Suitcase and Life in Tow,’ published in 1995. It is a poem that talks about dreams, thoughts, memories, the so-called Ghosts of ourselves. A figurative sense which I transformed into a poem.”

Writes Leila: Ele faz parte de um dos meus livros, “De Mala e Vida na mão”, lançado em 1995. Este é um poema que fala de sonhos, pensamentos, lembranças, os chamados Fantasmas de nós mesmos. Um sentido figurado que transformei em poema. Ei-lo:

FANTASMA, de Leila Cordeiro

Existe um fantasma
bem aí atrás da porta
eu o vejo todos os dias.
Engraçado…vejo e não vejo
mas o pressinto atrás do meu desejo…
Esse fantasma colorido
voa e se arrasta
é quase como um nada
Vem, me toca
depois me deixa abandonada…
É transparente, esse fantasma
entra e sai pela janela
não espera amanhecer o dia
nem espera a fantasia
nem me espera acordar…
É um fantasma instigante.
Ele me faz rir e faz chorar
Quero tocá-lo não consigo
Tê-lo apenas como amigo,
ele não deixa, vai embora.
E me faz assim como agora
olhar perdido no tempo
esperando esse fantasma voltar…
O espelho me reflete
e o fantasma repete
lá de longe…venha me pegar!!!!

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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