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Translation Tuesday: Testament by Ana Luísa Amaral, a poem from mother to daughter


To mark International Women’s Day, a poem by the award-winning Portuguese poet Amaral, containing a message for generations of women in a family

By Ana Luísa Amaral and Margaret Jull Costa for Translation Tuesdays byAsymptote, part of the Guardian Books Network

To commemorate International Women’s Day on 8 March, I’m thrilled to present the following poem by award-winning Portuguese poet, Ana Luísa Amaral, translated by the brilliant Margaret Jull Costa. Addressed to the narrator’s daughter (and, it seems, the daughter of that daughter), these words celebrate the hidden potentiality inside every woman—and the spontaneity of life itself, even in its contemplation of sudden death.

—Lee Yew Leong, Editor-in-Chief, Asymptote

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