Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Queen of Fado

Here is a beautiful song about Lisbon by Portugal's greatest and most famous singer, Amália Rodrigues.

Born in Lisbon, Amália da Piedade Rebordão Rodrigues (1920 - 1999) was known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") and was most influential in popularizing the fado worldwide. She was unquestionably the most important figure in the genre's development, by virtue of an innate interpretive talent carefully nurtured throughout a 40-year recording and stage career. Rodrigues' performances and choice of repertoire pushed Fado's boundaries and helped redefine it and reconfigure it for her and subsequent generations. In effect, Rodrigues wrote the rulebook on what fado could be and on how a female singer — or Fadista — should perform it, to the extent that she remains an unsurpassable model and an unending source of repertoire for all those who came afterwards. Rodrigues also remains the sole truly international star to have ever come out of Portugal, with an extensive international career between the 1950's and the 1970's, although in an era where such efforts were not as easily quantified as today.

-:- Enjoy Amália Rodrigues' inimitable style -:-


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Romanian Poetry via Contemporary Literary Horizon Magazine

Amalgamated Perspectives presents Romanian poet Ana Blandiana

Too few lovers of poetry are familiar with the work of Romanian lyric poet Ana Blandiana. She is one of Romania's most outstanding poets and is considered one of her generation's most significant literary voices. Her poems are both spiritual and patriotic. She writes verse of beauty and elegance. During Romania's communist period she was active as a prominent dissident and became a dedicated voice for freedom and democratic change.

AMALGAMATED PERSPECTIVES is pleased to present two of Ana Blandiana's poems which first appeared in the new Romanian literary journal CONTEMPORARY LITERARY HORIZON.


A feeble being was watching me from the mirror
Its keyboard of ribs clear-cut,
The heart pressing hard against the keys
Trying to show itself in the mirror.

I've never seen her, but I sensed her obscure Presence,
as in a game of blind man's buff,
(Like the heart of the locust tree in the window
Turning the chest of branches into a leaf).

I wondered how she had learned it and if
Its everlasting song was real,
I would fear my drifting into sleep at night
Lest its song should die out in its sleep.


Din oglindă mă privea un trup firav
Cu claviatura coastelor distinctă,
Inima-apăsa pe clape grav
Şi-ncerca să-apară în oglindă.

N-am văzut-o niciodată, dar ştiam,
Ca-ntr-un joc de-a baba-oarba, că-i ascunsă
(Precum inima salcâmului din geam
Coşul pieptului de crengi o face frunză).

Mă-ntrebam de unde l-a-nvăţat şi dacă
E aievea cântu-i uniform,
Şi ca nu cumva în somn să tacă,
Mi-era frică seara să adorm.



I wander in myself
As if in a foreign town
Where I don't know anyone.
The evening streets fill me with fear
And in rainy afternoons
I'm weary and I shiver.
No wish for an adventure,
When the mere walk on the road
Is a true venture,
No memory of another era
Answering the question
"Why have I been brought here?"


Umblu prin mine
Ca printr-un oraş străin
În care nu cunosc pe nimeni.
Seara mi-e teamă pe străzi
Şi-n după-amieze ploioase
Mi-e frig şi urât.
Nici o dorinţă de-a călători,
Când şi numai trecerea drumului
E aventură,
Nici o amintire din alte vieţi
"De ce-am fost adusă aici?"


- Click to learn about Ana Blandiana -

- We found two more poems by Ana Blandiana
click here -


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