Dancing-you: Dançar-te By Gisela Pereira – 4 / 5 stars
This poetry collection was originally written in Portuguese and then ‘translated’ into English. Instead of a direct translation, however, the poet used similar rhyme, rhythm and symbolism to recreate the atmosphere and emotion of the original. Both language versions are presented beautifully alongside one another.
The use of vocabulary, structure and rhythm in the collection are beautiful. The author has a stunning grasp of language and description, and each page is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous hand-drawn pictures. What makes this collection of poetry great is that each work is an extended metaphor of love and human connection as a dance. This gives the book a cohesive structure, even though each poem is self-contained.
My personal favourite poem from the collection is entitled ‘Hermaphrodite’. The use of rhyme and rhythm is exquisite and the language choices paint a lovely mental image.
I only have two criticisms. There are a few spelling errors in the translator notes which is unfortunate, considering how well translated the rest of the book is. The other criticism is that some of the poems have lovely use of language but it is difficult to see the meaning behind the words. The beauty of the language occasionally masks the intention, when the words should merely be a conduit for the meaning. This is merely my own opinion, however, and I am sure that every reader will take meaning from the poems in their own way.
Dancing-you is a passionate tale written in the shape of poems. Each poem is a moment of a story swaying through metaphors and literals of dance, myths, and philosophic thoughts. Bringing in mythological tales and gods, pagan beliefs, romance, spirituality, and mysticism. The fusion of two bodies as a puzzle. The merging of two souls as one. The merging of oneself with the own essence of life. A magical book, exquisitely crafted and illustrated in watercolor paintings and simultaneously displayed in two languages, Portuguese and English
Read more of Gisela Pereira’s work here: