Poem Taken From a Newspaper Item

by Manuel Bandeira

Sweet Johnny was a porter in the open market and lived in a numberless shack on Babylon Hill

One night he went into Twentieth of November Bar

He drank

He sang

He danced

Then he threw himself into Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon and died drowned

I first found this poem from a book by Sapardi Djoko Damono, entitled “Bilang Begini Maksudnya Begitu” and it was the Indonesian version. Then I found that English version from the internet, from google book “Brazilian Women Speak: Contemporary Life Stories”. 

Here is the Indonesian version.

Sajak Berdasarkan Sebuah Berita di Koran

Si John Periang adalah seorang pesuruh di Pasar Petani dan tinggal di Bukit Babilonia di sebuah gubuk yang tak bernomor

Pada suatu malam ia pergi ke Warung Dua Puluh November

Ia minum

Ia menyanyi

Ia menari

Kemudian ia menceburkan diri ke dalam Telaga Rodrigo de Freitas dan Tenggelam

I may write more about poems in the upcoming posts. I don’t promise.

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One thought on “Poem Taken From a Newspaper Item

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 11 – “Bittersweet Memories Feeding The Senses” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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