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I make poetry like the spider makes its web. There’s no reason for
doing so. I don’t ask why. The rest of my life would have to explain
this. This is the result of my life. My poetry, for me, is an intransitive
activity. Like playing carnival.
~ PAULO LEMINSKI IN HIS 1986 INTERVIEW WITH ADEMIR ASSUNÇÃO,
PUBLISHED ON THE BLOG,
BEM BLOGADO, SEPTEMBER 2, 2017.

My language is "pam-pam". You'll never see me use a word like
‘splendid,’ an inverted construction, that's not me. My things are
ideas in flesh and blood, right in front of you. I look for that. The
beauty is what I seek; it’s what is fundamental. It's the only thing
you can't possess. In this sense, beauty is didactic. To live without
beauty is unbearable. The artist must be conscious of beauty, it’s
not cute, arranged, ornamental… It’s necessary to see the beauty
that, for me, is born of the idea. The idea must be so strong, so rare,
so original, that it’s beautiful in itself, without adding a syllable,
adjective, preposition, nothing.
~ PAULO LEMINSKI, 1989, AS QUOTED IN A LITERARY POST-GRADUATE
STUDY BY DHYNARTE DE BORBA E ALBUQUERQUE, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY
OF RIO GRANDE DO SUL, 2005.

[Leminski's] process of creation was very rare: he laboriously
polished and refined until he found a result that pleased him, which
wasn’t easy. He was very self-critical and tireless. We can see this
in the manuscripts, how much he experimented with language,
modifying, inverting, searching for the best word, searching for the
best meaning. Leminski's work may at times give the impression of
something extremely spontaneous, effortlessly done, of pure
inspiration, but behind this was an artist gifted with remarkable
scholarship.
~ AUREA LEMINSKI, DAUGHTER OF PAULO LEMINSKI, IN HER INTERVIEW
WITH ALEKSANDRA PLUTA,
CULTURE PL  MAGAZINE, JULY 18, 2016.

TRANSLATION PORTUGUESE TO ENGLISH BY ROSALIENE BACCHUS
PAULO LEMINSKI
A POET'S HEART
Biographical
Documentary
Curitiba - Brazil
1990

(16:33 MINUTES DURATION)

NARRATION IN PORTUGUESE

Contranarciso
Paulo Leminski

em mim
eu vejo
o outro
e outro
enfim dezenas
trens passando
vagões cheios de gente centenas

o outro
que há em mim é você
você
e você

assim como
eu estou em você
eu estou nele
em nós
e só quando
estamos em nós
estamos em paz
mesmo que estejamos a sós


Poem from Toda Poesia, an anthology of poetry by Paulo
Leminski, published by Editora Companhia Brasil das Letras, Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013.

SOURCE: CULTURA GENIAL

Counter-narcissus
Contranarciso
by Paulo Leminski
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus

in me
I see
the other
and another
finally dozens
trains passing
wagons full of hundreds of people

the other
what's in me is you
you
and you

just as
I am in you
I am in him
in us
and only when
we are in us
we are at peace
even if we are alone
PAULO LEMINSKI was a
poet, translator, literary critic,
biographer, and teacher. He
was born in Curitiba, capital
of the southern Brazilian state
of Paraná. His father was of
Polish descent and his
mother was of Portuguese,
Afro-Brazilian, and
indigenous descent.

He published his first poems
in 1964 in the magazine,
Invenção. A year later, though
he had never finished
college, he began teaching
history and creative writing.

After his first marriage of
seven years to a visual artist,
he married a second time to
the poet, Alice Ruiz.

An admirer of Japonese
culture and the work of the
Haiku Master Basho, Leminski
became known as the main
promoter of haikai poetry in
Brazil.

In 1975, he published his first
major work,
Catatau, an
experimental romance novel
written in prose poetry.

HIS POETRY COLLECTIONS
INCLUDE:
~ 40 Clics (1976)
~ Polonaises (1980)
~ Não Fosse Isso e Era
Menos / Não Fosse Tanto e
Era Quase
(1980)
~ Tripas (1980)
~ Caprichos e Relaxos (1983)
~ Haitropikais (1985 – in
partnership with Alice Ruiz)
~ Um Milhão de Coisas
(1985)
~ Distraídos Venceremos
(1987)
~ La Vie en close (1991 –
posthumous; in partnership
with Alice Ruiz)
BRAZILIAN POET
(1944-1989)