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Friendly Song* (“Cancao Amiga” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade)
Translated by Lloyd Schwartz

I’m working on a song
in which my own mother sees her image,
everyone’s mother sees her image,
and it speaks, it speaks just like two eyes.

I’m traveling along a roadway
that winds through many countries.
My old friends—if they don’t see me,
I see them, I see and salute them.

I am giving away a secret
like someone who loves, or smiles.
In the most natural way
two caresses reach each other.

My whole life, all of our lives
make up a single diamond.
I’ve learned a few new phrases—
and to make others better.

I’m working on a song
that wakes men up
and lets children sleep.

*printed on the Brazilian 50 Cruzados note

FRIENDLY SONG* (“Cancao Amiga” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade)
Lloyd Schwartz • Massachusetts, USA https://poets.org/poet/lloyd-schwartz

FRIENDLY SONG* (“Cancao Amiga” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade) is a poem translated by Lloyd Schwartz.

Lloyd Schwartz is an award-winning poet (Guggenheim Foundation Fellow), critic (Pulitzer Prize), and teacher (University of Massachusetts Chancellor’s Award), whose most recent volume of poetry is Little Kisses (University of Chicago Press), and who is the current Poet Laureate of Somerville, Massachusetts.

Little Kisses, (University of Chicago Press), 2017
Cairo Traffic (University of Chicago Press), 2000
Goodnight, Gracie (University of Chicago Press), 1992
These People (Wesleyan University Press), 1981