The HyperTexts

Ranald Barnicot

Ranald Barnicot (born 1948) has a BA in Classics from Balliol College, Oxford and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Birkbeck College, London. He has published or is due to publish original poems and translations—of Anacreon, Catullus, Horace, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarmé, Lorca, Hernandez, Vallejo, Alfonso X (El Sabio) of Castile, Violante do Céu, D’annunzio and La Compiuta Donzella—in Priapus, Acumen, Poetry Strasbourg Review, Transference, In Translation Brooklyn Rail, Ezra, The Rotary Dial, Meniscus, Sentinel, Poetry Salzburg Review, The French Literary Review, Better Than Starbucks, Orbis, Stand, The Dark Horse and Metamorphoses. His first book, By Me, Through Me (Alba Publications), a collection of original poems and translations, came out in December 2018.



Castelvieilh (near Luchon)

From the slit stone no arrowheads glint askance,
only the fine rain slants,
and the lone keep still holds its squat, ungainly stance,
and in the distance is it Spain or France
 
or merely death arraying its white peaks?
This is a half-way house. The door is locked.
Here's neither shelter nor trap. Here History speaks
only a muted memory of pain,
 
and, baffled, we move off,
obscurely, with a sense of gain.
 
(published in The French Literary Review)



Lisbon
 
My city of the slow, sad walkers,
city of hills, frozen green waters
where palaces and hovels lie adrift,
cluttering, clutching ridge and rift.

The earth will overturn and throw
you open to the sea's anger.
Carmo wears rags of stone, and I
must leave you in your danger.
 
Exiled from exile, memories march,
decay and linger.

(published in The Rotary Dial)



The Savage
by Antonio Gomes Leal (1848 – 1921)
 
I love no-one. Nor in the world is there
Another heart that beats for my heart’s sake.
No other understands my deep despair.
When others weep, I feel my laughter shake.
 
I live estranged from every one and thing,
More silent than the coffin, Death, blank slate;
Solitary, savage, inert, mute suffering
 - Stupid passivity of Things my state.
 
I closed the Past’s book, oh a long time ago!
I feel in me the Future’s sneering gaze,
And live in my own company, and know
Only dark, barbarous egoism clogging my days.
 
I’ve torn up all I’ve read. I dwell in stark
Domains cruel, indifferent folk patrol.
My heart’s a serpents’ nest where, in the dark,
I’ve stamped on pains that writhe in its hell-hole.
 
And I see no-one. I only sally out
After sun-set onto the empty street,
None to sneak up on me, eye, ear or snout,
Only the dogs, the moon their yapping dirges greet ....
 
O Selvagem
por António Gomes Leal, in 'Claridades do Sul' 

Eu não amo ninguem. Tambem no mundo 
Ninguem por mim o peito bater sente, 
Ninguem entende meu sofrer profundo, 
E rio quando chora a demais gente. 

Vivo alheio de todos e de tudo, 
Mais callado que o esquife, a Morte e as lousas, 
Selvagem, solitario, inerte e mudo, 
- Passividade estupida das Cousas. 

Fechei, de ha muito, o livro do Passado 
Sinto em mim o despreso do Futuro, 
E vivo só commigo, amortalhado
N'um egoismo barbaro e escuro. 

Rasguei tudo o que li. Vivo nas duras 
Regiões dos crueis indifferentes, 
Meu peito é um covil, onde, ás escuras, 
Minhas penas calquei, como as serpentes. 

E não vejo ninguem. Saio sómente 
Depois de pôr-se o sol, deserta a rua, 
Quando ninguem me espreita, nem me sente, 
E, em lamentos, os cães ladram à lua... 
 
Antonio Gomes Leal (1848 – 1921), Portuguese poet, journalist and essayist, born in Lisbon, posed as a decadent and dandy for much of his career, even flirting with Satanism. On the death of his mother in 1910, he reconverted to Catholicism. At this time he also fell into poverty and became homeless, being forced to sleep on park benches and subject to physical assault. His friends and members of literary circles campaigned for a petition to have the government grant him some financial support. He eventually received a small stipend towards the end of his life.

The HyperTexts