Yale Working Group in Contemporary Poetry

Hilary Kaplan on Angelica Freitas

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on October 6, 2010

On Friday, October  8 from 3-5 PM in room 116 of the Whitney Humanities Center the WGCP will be discussing the work of the Brazilian poet Angelica Freitas.  Specifically we will be reading a selection of poems from her book Rilke Shake. Our discussion that day will be shaped by the input of Hilary Kaplan, a WGCP member-at-large and Freitas’ American translator. Hilary’s  terrific essay on translating Freitas is available here: http://digitalartifactmagazine.com/issue2/Translating_Poems_from_Angelica_Freitas_Rilke_shake

The first two paragraphs provide a biography for this poet: Rilke shake (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2007), a collection of 45 short poems, is the first book by the young Brazilian poet Angélica Freitas. The title, a pun on milkshake (which in Brazil’s vernacular means just what it does in English), indicates the book’s contents: poetry approached as a shake of languages, words, canonical tradition and a measure of delight, whirred in postmodernity’s ironic blender. The often first-person poems grapple with shaking off the influence of not only Rilke but also Shakespeare (the pun is not lost), Stein, Keats, Moore, Bishop, Bashō, Blake, Brodsky and Pound. In “não consigo ler os cantos” (“i can’t manage to read the cantos”) the speaker, established as female at the beginning of the book, asks the revolutionary and rhetorical question, “vamos nos livrar de ezra pound?/…/vamos nos livrar de mariane moore?” (“shall we free ourselves from ezra pound?/…/shall we free ourselves from marianne moore?”). Since she can’t shake free of these titans, she shakes them together with everything else real and imagined from her life—family, languages learned or overheard, travels, dreams, homeland, and so on—to see if anything tasty results.

Born 8 April 1973 in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Freitas studied journalism at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, then worked as a reporter in São Paulo. She now lives in Pelotas and Holland, where she is translating poetry and working on a second book. She has published poems in the Brazilian journal Inimigo Rumor, and in Diário de Poesía (Argentina) and aguasfurtadas (Portugal). A translation of “love (collage)” appeared in Issue 6 (Spring 2007), dedicated to Brazilian poetry, of the American poetry journal Aufgabe; translations into English of “What is a tschüsstschüss?” (“o que é um baibai?”) and “Love, a collage” can be found in the German online art magazine Hilda. Freitas’ work is also included in the anthology Cuatro poetas recientes de Brasil (Buenos Aires: Black & Vermelho, 2006). She co-edits the Brazilian poetry journal Modo de Usar & Co (in print and online at revistamododeusar.blogspot.com) and keeps her own blog, tome uma xícara de chá (loop.blogspot.com).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: