This post is also available in: polski (Polish)
A January morning on the northeast coast of the Atlantic is getting longer. Galway’s roofs shine white, not rain. I make coffee and I open a special book that my friend sent me for Christmas.
I live at the edge of all things
in the morning I carve a blue wildflower on azulejos
Sou aquele onde vive a margem de todas as coisas:
Gravo centáureas em azulejos ao nascer do dia
– so writes the poet Sara Timóteo in the poem “Jornalerio” / “The Hireling”
The Anthology of Polish-Portuguese poetry “Azuejo chabrem ubrane” / “Azulejos vestidos com centáureas” (“Azulejo dressed by blue wildflower”) – presents 68 poems in Polish and Portuguese like unique Azulejo tiles which are often designed by individual artists. Blue and white are the dominant colours. In Portugal, many houses, walls, even in the underground are covered by Azulejo tiles. The shade of blue on the tiles seems indeed like colour of blue wildflower.
The Polish-Portuguese anthology open a dialogue of poets from two different countries. They touch feelings, longlines, changes from their life and countries. There are alos many poems about relationships with family, lovers, ourselves and short shots from some places.
Although the poets come from various cultures and regions, their poetry provocative me to reflecting my own story. So I am reminded of a beige house with a garden, in which I grew up. In front of my eyes old Lisbon houses mix with the buildings in Wrocław, and the light of the lanterns exhibit the rain. Maybe this is not an accident at all, but the magic of connection?
ink paintings on the hands…
a stove bursting with fire
letters were written to me…
das mãos marcadas de tinta…
do forno ardente
das cartas que me escreveste…
From a poem by Bożena Łazorczyk.
In one port
The idea of a meeting of poets from Poland and Portugal in one book came up with Katarina Lavmel, who has lived in the Fernando Pessoa’s country for two years. She is a poet from Słupsk, Poland and she is in love with Portugal. Katarina wanted to share the scent of blooming oranges with others. In 2020, during the difficult time of the pandemic, she received a cultural grant from her hometown to publish this anthology. She has dreamed that Polish and Portuguese poets would meet in one port. They could travel in other places by poems. In the anthology we can discover 34 poets from various regions of Poland and Portugal and of different ages. This unique book also includes poems by Daria Danuta Lisiecka and Małgorzata Wątor which I presented to you on this blog. I envy them dearly that their poems were translated to such a charming language.
It would easier to miss Lisbon
so Daria wrote to me in the dedication inside book. Indeed, this anthology awakens in me a desire to visit Portugal again. Where children play football until midnight in the squares, and the Lisboners take the ferry to nearby Cascilhas to watch their dear city from the other side. Portuguese is still the language which I love, although I have not heard it for a long time and I do not remember many words. However, I have the impression that this time Portugal came to me on its own. And now I can enjoy the poems in this language.
A huge space shrinks between us
At the end of the book, we can find photos and biographical notes of poets. In this way, we can get to know them better and search of the more poems in the future.
I will share poems with Bia and my other Portuguese-speaking friends with whom I organized the Portuguese Day in Wrocław/ Dzień Portugalski we Wrocławiu.
Katarina Lavmel wanted to create a bridge to bring the authors closer, but I think that this anthology is a much wider bridge that also communicates the readers.
I would like to thank you the originator, poets and translators for this unique book. But, most of all I thank you to Daria, who remembered my Portuguese passion and gave me this book!
“Azulejo chabrem ubrane”
Editor: Katarina Lavmel
Poems translation: from Portuguese to Polish: Anna Skwarek, from Polish to Portuguese: Gabriel Borowski
Publishing House: Fundacja Duży Format