The Art of Being a Tiger

BookThe Art of Being a Tiger

The Art of Being a Tiger

Poems by Ana Luisa Amaral

Aris & Phillips Hispanic Classics


June 29th, 2016

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Ana Luisa Amaral is considered to be one of the foremost Portuguese poets of her day, and although her poetry has been translated into many other languages, this is the first major collection of her poems to be published in English. Born in Oporto in 1956, and, for many years, Professor of Anglo-American Literature at the University of Oporto, Ana Luisa Amaral published her first collection of poems, Minha Senhora de Que, in 1990, and has since published many more, along with plays, children's literature, a novel and translations from English. Her work has brought her many prizes both in Portugal and elsewhere. Her poems are resolutely female, but she casts her net very wide in terms of subject matter, from tender poems about her daughter to thoughts provoked by finding a crumb lodged in the pages of a second-hand book to musings about Galileo, the theory of relativity and the larger themes of loneliness, loss, and death. She is a writer immersed in her own culture, but steeped, too, in the poetry, for example, of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, and in the world of the Bible and the Greek myths. The result is a poetry that takes equal pleasure in the physical and metaphysical, playing with words and ideas, a poetry that is always refreshingly oblique, taking the reader down unexpected intellectual and linguistic paths. Her poetry invites readers to share her own wonder and perplexity at life's joys and griefs.

Author Information

Ana Luísa Amaral published her first volume of poetry in 1990 and has since published more than twenty volumes (among poetry, fiction, theatre and children’s books). Translated into several languages, her work has brought her many prizes in Portugal and abroad. She is also a translator, notably of the poetry of John Updike, Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare. Margaret Jull Costa has been a translator for more than thirty years, translating such novelists as Javier Marías, José Saramago, Eça de Queiroz and Benito Pérez Galdós, and, more recently, the poets Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Ana Luísa Amaral.A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, in 2014, she was awarded an OBE for services to literature. Paulo de Medeiros is Professor of Modern and Contemporary World Literatures at the University of Warwick.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page2
Copyright Page3
From Minha senhora de quê (1990)20
Terra de ninguém / No man’s land21
Intertextualidades / Intertextualities23
Passado / Past25
Testamento / Testament31
Auto-da-fé / Auto-da-fe33
Minha senhora de quê / Mistress of what35
Coisas gramaticais e outras / Grammar and other matters37
Músicas / Tunes39
Metamorfoses / Metamorphoses41
A verdade histórica / The historical truth43
From Coisas de partir (1993)48
Quarto-crescente / Crescent moon49
Nem tágides nem musas / No nymphs or muses51
O grande truque / The big trick53
Dilemas / Dilemmas55
Lugares comuns / Common places57
Coisas de partir / Breakable things61
Kamasutras / Kamasutras63
From Às vezes o paraíso (1998)68
O excesso mais perfeito / The most perfect excess69
O mundo a meio / The world torn in two73
Babel / Babel75
Salomé após o crime / Salome after the crime77
Visitações, ou poema que se diz manso / Visitations, or a supposedly gentle poem79
From Imagias (2001)82
Um pouco só de Goya: Carta a minha filha / Just a little bit of Goya: Letter to my daughter83
Poema que se devia / A should-be poem87
Relatividades / Relativities91
Silogismos / Syllogisms93
Imagens e memórias do que não / Images and memories of what wasn’t96
From A arte de ser tigre (2003)100
Arte primeira / First art101
Do espanto / About amazement103
Arte segunda / Second art105
Do fingimento / About pretence107
Primeira metamorfose / First metamorphosis109
Da coragem / About courage112
Segunda metamorfose / Second metamorphosis114
Terceira metamorfose / Third metamorphosis116
Da memória / About memory117
Do amor / About love119
Arte terceira / Third art121
Quarta metamorfose / Fourth metamorphosis123
Arte quarta / Fourth art124
Arte quinta / Fifth art127
Arte final / Final art129
A mais perfeita imagem / The most perfect image131
From A génese do amor (2005)134
Topografias em (quase) dicionário / Topographies (almost) as dictionary135
From Entre dois rios e outras noites (2007)146
As mais epifanias / The greatest epiphanies147
Que escada de Jacob? / Where – that Jacob’s ladder?149
Copérnico, Chopin, Boeing 747 / Copernicus, Chopin, Boeing 747153
From Se fosse um intervalo (2009)158
Ecos / Echos159
Irei agora carregar o tempo / I will go now and load up time161
From Vozes (2011)164
A cerimónia / The ceremony165
Galileu, a sua torre e outras rotações / Galileo, his tower and other orbits171
From Escuro (2014)184
Das mais puras memórias: ou de lumes / About the purest memories: or about light185
Entre mitos: ou parábola / Between myths – or a parable191
Europa (Poema 1) / Europe (Poem 1)197
Europa (Poema 2) / Europe (Poem 2)199
From E todavia (2015)202
Pequena ode, em anotação quase biográfica / Mini-ode, in the form of a semi-biographical note203
Electricidade / Electricity207
Não sei como dizer, e todavia, / I don’t know how to say it, and yet,209
Incomparáveis receitas / Incomparable recipes211
O dia de se estar / A day for just being213
Crescimento / Growth215
Modulações e cantos / Modulations and songs217
Pequeno documento / Small document219
Matar é Fácil / Murder is easy223