A temporary move to Toronto in the winter of 2000, a twisted ankle, an empty house -- all inspired Moure as she read Alberto Caeiro/Fernando Pessoa's classic long poem O Guardador de Rebanhos. For fun, she started to translate, altering tones and vocabularies. From the Portuguese countryside and roaming sheep of 1914, a 21st century Toronto emerged, its neighbourhoods still echoing the 1950s, their dips and hollows, hordes of wild cats, paved creeks. Her poem became a translation, a transcreation, the jubilant and irrepressible vigil of a fervent person. "Suddenly," says Moure impishly, "I had found my master."
Caeiro's sheep were his thoughts and his thoughts, he claimed, were all sensations. Moure's sheep are stray cats and from her place in Caeiro's poetry, she creates a woman alive in an urban world where the rural has not vanished, where the archaic suffuses us even when we do not beckon it, and yet the present tense floods us fully.
About the authors
A central figure in contemporary poetry and one of the most iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Chus Pato's sixth book, m-Tala, broke the poetic mould in 2000. Hordes of Writing, the third text in her projected pentology Method, received the 2008 Spanish Critics' Prize for Galician Poetry, and the Losada Di?guez literary prize in 2009. Pato continues to refashion the way we think of the possibilities of poetic text, of words, bodies, political and literary space, and of the construction of ourselves as individual, community, nation, world. She brings us face to face with the traumas and migrations of Europe, with writing itself, and the possibility (or not) of poetry accounting for our animal selves. Secession is Pato's ninth book and her fourth to be translated into English.
Montreal poet Erín Moure has published seventeen books of poetry in English and Galician/English, and thirteen volumes of poetry translated from French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese into English, by poets such as Andr's Ajens, Nicole Brossard, Rosala de Castro, Louise Dupr?, and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A.M. Klein Prize, and has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize. Moure is currently revising the bilingual French/English impossible play Kapusta, a sequel to The Unmemntioable, for publication in 2015, and is translating Chus Pato's Carne de Leviatan into English as Flesh of Leviathan, to appear in 2016. She is also working on a new book of poems called The Elements, and on a translation of Wilson Bueno's Mar Paraguayo.
Fernando Pessoa (1888 - 1935) was one of the great poets of the Portuguese language. Alberto Caeiro was one of his main heteronyms. O Guardador de Rebanhos was first published in full in 1946 by Edicoes Atica in Volume 3 of Pessoa's Obras Completas called Poesias de Alberto Caeiro.
- Short-listed, Griffin Poetry Prize
- Short-listed, Toronto Book Award