Recipe for a New Year
by Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Humbly translated by Nando Cuca
If you want to get a beautiful New Year
All rainbow coloured, or painted whatever colour you call peace.
A New Year which does not compare to any already lived
(not well lived maybe, or senselessly)
To get a a New Year that is not just bish-boshed with a quick lick of paint,
but a brand new one,
new down to the heart of all things unnoticed
(what's inside for starters)
new, spontaneous and so perfect you won't even notice,
that with it you eat, walk, love, understand and work.
You don't need to drink champagne or any other booze,
don't need to send or receive messages (do plants get messages or send emails?)
You don't need to make lists of resolutions
only to file them away in your bureau drawer.
Don't cry in repentante for past foibles and don't go
blindly believing that, by none other than hope itself,
that from January onwards things will change and all will be clear and rewarding,
and there will be justice for all men and nations,
a freshly baked bread smelling kind of freedom and
respected rights, starting with the august right to live itself.
To get a New Year
deserving of this title
you, my dear, will have to earn it,
make it new. And I know it's not easy,
but do try, experiment, and be conscient that
it's inside of you that a New Year snoozes and
waits... since always.
was probably the most influential poet of contemporary Brazilian literature. He was born in Minas Gerais but lived and died in Rio. He's now a bronze statue sitting on a bench on the beach promenade in Copacabana.
Nando Cuca is uniquely unqualified to translate Drummond's work, but is always willing to have a go. He used to live in Rio but was transplanted to London 19 years ago.