"Weather Forecast" by Adélia Prado, translated by Ellen Doré Watson

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December 28, 2021 

Weather Forecast

Adélia Prado 
translated by Ellen Doré Watson

The spirit of rebellion

also called hopelessness                                                               

has begun another sinister round.    

His dark and cold come straight from hell.

I was expecting happy days from May,

but so far the only sunny thing was Albertina’s news

that she was chosen to sing “Jesus is the bread of heaven.”

That’s bread without butter, Albertina,                                              

just so you know. 

We eat it with bitter herbs.

 


 

Previsão do Tempo

 

O espírito de rebelião

também chamado de tristeza e desânimo

começou de novo sua ronda sinistra.

Sua treva e seu frio são de inferno.

Por causa de maio, esperava dias felizes;

e ensolarado até agora só o recado de Albertina,

escolhido pra cantar Jesus é o pão do céu.

Pão sem manteiga, Albertina,

é bom que o saiba.

É com ervas amargas que o come.

Copyright © 2021 by Adélia Prado and Ellen Doré Watson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 28, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“It’s a poem about a certain kind of sadness on a sunny day, a day in May that promises joy, but, even so, people feel cold, forlorn, wrapped in darkness. The only good thing that happened that day was the girl who said ‘Today I get to sing “‘Jesus is the bread of heaven.”’ And then I remembered—right, bread without butter, because it’s with bitter herbs that we eat the bread of heaven. So, it’s an allusion to a downheartedness containing that sliver of joy.”
Adélia Prado, translated by Ellen Doré Watson

Adélia Prado is a Brazilian poet and the author of O Homem da Mão Seca (Editora Record, 2007); Oráculos de Maio (Editora Record, 2007); and O Pelicano (Editora Guanabara, 1987). The recipient of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry’s Lifetime Recognition Award and the 2020 Prêmio Jabuti, she lives in Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Ellen Doré Watson is the author of pray me stay eager (Alice James Books, 2018), among other collections. The recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and a 1990 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant, she directs the Poetry Center at Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.

Ex-Voto: Poems of Adélia Prado
(Tupelo Press, 2013)

“When I Became La Promesa” by Peggy Robles-Alvarado
read more
“Thank You Jesus” by Teri Ellen Cross Davis
read more

Thanks to Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Read a Q&A about Kaminsky’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
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