Love Poems You Wish You Had Written #3: Readings by Ygor Raduy

Gay Fatherhood Support Group
Gay Fatherhood Support Group

For today’s edition of Love Poems You Wish You Had Written we have as a guest reader, Ygor Raduy who will be reading selections from both E. E. Cummings and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Some days I simply cannot help but be grateful that our god in her infinite wisdom inspired Al Gore to create the internet. I have met so many inspiring friends because of it, not the least of which are my brothers, Vince and Keith, and the many others who were on the ground floor of the online gathering of gay dads known as Gay Fatherhood. We are older now, and our kids mostly grown, and there are far more resources for fathers like us than ever before, but many from that group have met in person, and the camaraderie continues in the form of an active Facebook group.

And I’m not ashamed to say that my first chats with my now hubby-to-be, Brian K. were here online. So for all my complaining about YouTube downgrades and invasive Facebook advertisements, I must not allow the minor issues to cloud the greater good that the internet has proven to be for me.

I have also been fortunate to form bonds, friendships and connections with artists, poets and musicians of all sorts, thanks to the interwebs. I am blessed to be able to correspond with musicians like Mary Cigarettes, artists like Kristine Byrne and writers like Suzie Grogan, who by the way, is also participating in this series of posting “Love Poems You Wish You Had Written.”  You should go check the series out on her blog as well.

Photo by Ygor Raduy
Photo by Ygor Raduy

But please don’t stop there. Suzie and I would like to encourage you to participate yourself! Surely there is a love poem or two that you find meaningful. Whether it be serious, whimsical or farcical, I’d like to encourage you to post it to your blog, Facebook,  Twitter,  or whatever medium you like, and either link back here or let us know in the comments so that we can spread the love this week. As Suzie says, lord knows the world needs it. In fact there is a song which claims that is all we need, and another that insists that all we need is love, and beer; admittedly that’s a fair and practical amendment to the original statement.

Among these talented internet connections is a dear friend from Brazil named Ygor Raduy. Like many of my friends, he is an artist who works in multiple mediums, and so I asked him if he minded my sharing a couple of his readings for you today. If only I were to apply myself to learning Portuguese the way he has to learning English and German!

The first of the two poems is by E. E. Cummings, and it came to my mind because my friend Rick read it for us at this Thursday’s Poetry Under the Paintings at Faustina’s Gallery in Lewisburg. Rick’s careful and attentive reading got me a bit choked up, and brought to mind this recording by Ygor in which he also provides a Portuguese translation.

The second poem is quite possibly the greatest love poem ever written. Though, that perhaps is tipping my hand and leaving me wondering what I could possibly post next in this series. The tenderness with which Ygor treats this piece by Rainer Maria Rilke is just so appropriate. Here he reads it for us both in its original German, and in English. I will include the texts for each poem, as per usual, beneath each video. Thank you, dear friend! God, I love my life.

Poem by E. E. Cummings | Translation by Augusto de Campos | Photo and voice Ygor Raduy

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands


nalgum lugar em que eu nunca estive,alegremente além
de qualquer experiência,teus olhos têm o seu silêncio:
no teu gesto mais frágil há coisas que me encerram,
ou que eu não ouso tocar porque estão demasiado perto
teu mais ligeiro olhar facilmente me descerra
embora eu tenha me fechado como dedos,nalgum lugar
me abres sempre pétala por pétala como a Primavera abre
(tocando sutilmente,misteriosamente)a sua primeira rosa
ou se quiseres me ver fechado,eu e
minha vida nos fecharemos belamente,de repente,
assim como o coração desta flor imagina
a neve cuidadosamente descendo em toda a parte;
nada que eu possa perceber neste universo iguala
o poder de tua imensa fragilidade:cuja textura
compele-me com a cor de seus continentes,
restituindo a morte e o sempre cada vez que respira
(não sei dizer o que há em ti que fecha
e abre;só uma parte de mim compreende que a
voz dos teus olhos é mais profunda que todas as rosas)
ninguém, nem mesmo a chuva,tem mãos tão pequenas

( tradução: Augusto de Campos )

poem by Rainer Maria Rilke | video: German and English translation | reading: Ygor Raduy


Rainer Maria Rilke | Liebes-Lied

Wie soll ich meine Seele halten, daß
sie nicht an deine rührt? Wie soll ich sie
hinheben über dich zu andern Dingen?
Ach gerne möchte ich sie bei irgendetwas
Verlorenem im Dunkel unterbringen
an einer fremden stillen Stelle, die
nicht weiterschwingt, wenn deine Tiefen schwingen.
Doch alles, was uns anrührt, dich und mich,
nimmt uns zusammen wie ein Bogenstrich,
die aus zwei Saiten eine Stimme zieht.
Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?
Und welcher Geiger hat uns in der Hand?
O süßes Lied.


Love Song

How shall I hold on to my soul, so that
it does not touch yours? How shall I lift
it gently up over you on to other things?
I would so very much like to tuck it away
among long lost objects in the dark,
in some quiet, unknown place, somewhere
which remains motionless when your depths resound.
And yet everything which touches us, you and me,
takes us together like a single bow,
drawing out from two strings but one voice.
On which instrument are we strung?
And which violinist holds us in his hand?
O sweetest of songs.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful readings here–including my favorite ee poem of all time. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Yes, I agree! This one and “My Love is Building a Building.” When Rick started to read this Thursday I immediately started to choke up.


  2. keatsbabe says:

    This series is such a pleasure to be part of, I want it to carry on for ever – beyond St Valentine’s Day and right into 2013 to warm us when the world seems beyond understanding. Another wonderful selection here. Do you know Denise Levertov’s ‘Variation on a theme by Rilke’? The last lines ‘The day’s blow/rang out, metailic or it wasI, a bell awakened,/and what I heard was my whole self/saying and singing what it knew: I can.’ Fabulous.


    1. Wow, and no I hadn’t read that one. I’ll look it up in its entirety. Lovely. You know we can always find something to serialize together, no matter the time of year.


  3. The Rilke poem – brings a deep resonance – this will be my present to my love this Valentine’s day! I will be hanging out here more often… Great site – I appreciate your spirit! Thank you for expressing yourself. Tomas


    1. Oh, sir. Thank you. The Rilke poem moves me like few poems do. I am honored. I shared your Middle East Peace post today on Facebook with some dear peace loving friends. I applaud what you are doing there! I’m so glad to have you here.


    2. 🙂 🙂 🙂 thank you for helping to spread the Good News!
      I just tried out the Wordle – Great! Thanks for that, too!


    3. Haha My pleasure! It makes me happy that folks are playing with that tool.


  4. John says:

    Without writing a long, drawn out comment that would bore you to tears, let me just say Thank You for all these great posts. Discovering your blog has been a gift: you’ve inspired in me a passion for poetry, one that I thought I’d given up on long ago.

    Lovely reading of the Rilke poem… thanks for sharing!


    1. Wow, John. Just wow. You must have some idea of how very much such a comment means to me. Far from being bored to tears, I am brought almost to tears, knowing that I got the happy honor of playing some small part in another soul finding nourishment in poetry. That is what I am all about. It’s what I want out of this poetry thing more than anything else, to help fan the flames. Thank you.


    2. And I agree, Ygor’s reading of that poem puts a lump in my throat every single time.


  5. Ygor Raduy says:

    Well, I just don´t know what to say. Here I am, in The Dad Poet! Thank you so much, David, for the lovely post. I´m so glad to be part of it!


    1. It was my honor and pleasure. 🙂


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