£8.50 + p&p 192 pp
ISBN 978 1 903080 13 9 (April 2010)
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Saudade – so difficult to translate the yearning soul of Fado music, Portugal’s urban folk tradition. So what happens when you ask 18 of our finest poets – versed in the art of translation but mostly coming to the music for the first time – to create versions in English of the poetry on which Fado songs are based? George Szirtes, Elaine Feinstein, Don Paterson and others find themselves challenged, as Carol Rumens describes it, to perform ‘a translation double-act’, turning ‘a poetic song in one language into a song-like poem in another’. Their approaches span the range from close equivalence to loose ‘imitation’, but seek to convey some essence of the culture and music of Fado.

The music has now taken its rightful place on the world stage, but Fado poetry is still little known outside Portugal. Saudade – the first ever anthology in English – offers poems from across the repertoire: peasant songs from Fado’s earliest days, songs from the genre’s greatest poets, exuberant evocations of the low-life Fado ‘scene’, metaphysical speculation, songs of resistance, and, above all, of love.

Mimi Khalvati has published six poetry collections with Carcanet Press. Her most recent book, The Meanest Flower, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2007. She is the founder of The Poetry School and co-editor of its anthologies of new writing published by Enitharmon Press. She has received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Vasco Graça Moura is a Euro MP and one of Portugal’s most renowned contemporary poets.

Updated on 06 september 2016

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