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Between I, myself and me

Translations

Between I, myself and me

Maria S. Mendes

Between I, myself and me, tradução Rita Faria

 

 Between I, myself and me

What has risen I do not know

Which makes me my enemy

 

For a time with much delusion

I myself have lived with me

Now in the greatest misery

I find great harm comes in profusion.

Sorely costly is disillusionment

and yet kill me it did not

But how sorely have I paid the cost

 

To myself I am made a stranger

Between consideration and concern

Evil lies there, spun

By great evil to which I succumb.

A new fear, a new woe

This is what has had me so,

Thus I am had, thus I am so.

Antre mim mesmo e mim, Bernardim Ribeiro

 

Antre mim mesmo e mim

não sei que s’alevantou

que tão meu inimigo sou.

 

Uns tempos com grand’engano

vivi eu mesmo comigo,

agora no mor perigo

se me descobre o mor dano.

Caro custa um desengano

e pois m’este não matou

quão caro que me custou.

 

De mim me sou feito alheio,

antr’o cuydado e cuidado

está um mal derramado,

que por mal grande me veio.

Nova dor, novo receio

foi este que me tomou,

assim me tem, assim estou.

 

 

 

Very little is known about Bernardim Ribeiro but at the same time a great deal is known. His poetry was included in Garcia de Resende’s 1516 Cancioneiro Geral and fellow poet and friend Sá de Miranda writes about him (“amigo Ribeiro”) to both praise his literary gifts and lament his mysterious fall from grace. Almeida Garrett attributes the latter to a heartbreaking love story between Bernardim and Beatriz, who happened to be the King’s daughter. Sadly there is no historical evidence for such a cinematic love story. What we do know is that Bernardim, in all likelihood born in the late 1400s and deceased in the mid-1500s, was a poet who enjoyed success and royal favours for a time; left the court for reasons unknown but probably in disgrace; transformed the cadence of music and alliteration into cerebral poetry and wrote the most wonderful beginning to a novel – “Menina e moça me levaram de casa de minha mãe para muito longe. Que causa fosse então daquela minha levada, era ainda pequena, não a soube”. It is also Menina e Moça who provides grounds to believe Bernardim might have been Jewish – converted, reconverted, in exile, we don’t know (as explained by Helder Macedo in his preface to Menina e Moça, D. Quixote, 1999). His mind seems to have been a mind in exile – and there are many forms of exile, with which Bernardim was certainly acquainted. This, we know. 


Rita Faria is a professor at the Catholic University of Portugal. She doesn’t know how to do anything else apart from reading and writing and wants to do nothing else apart from reading and writing. Besides this, she enjoys horror films, vampires, ghosts and zombies in general and thinks the Portuguese language is the most fun in the whole world.