A tribute to poems of the sea

There is something about the sea and longing that makes for beautiful poetry. I looked through the usual suspects among the poets that write in English, those that have written about the sea and they all turned out to be male, their poems aggressively exhorting one to the action of war or conquest, or sometimes read like a descent into sadness, upon having not realized their personal ambitions. The women I discovered are the ones that sing to the sea, poems of longing, sadness of loss … There are two among these that are heartrendingly beautiful. Ao longe o mar by Madredeus in Portuguese and Soledad y el mar by Natalia Lafourcade in Spanish. I love the sheer poetry of these lyrics that make you feel as much as you can, the pulse of your vein and the rush of your heart. Today I quote and link both songs below as well as their translations, as a real treat. I am also inspired to attempt to write my own poem of oceans and longing, using the hackneyed Titanic yet again, so forgive me for this cliche.

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Submerged longing

A ship that never sailed / on an ocean under the sun waving through a breezy brightness / like a smile on the waves as they shimmer and glint happiness across the stern / but the hull dashes hopes against an iceberg / submerged like a longing deep within the sea / in the dark of the depths / thinking of what could be / In her algal tresses, a siren watches the albatross trace clouds in the sky / shadows on the bow of a sinking ship wondering why / it never cried out to the sailor to know of the dangers in the undertow / of affections frozen deep in ice waiting to thaw / seeking the sun / seeking sound / seeking to know that which remained hidden in a liquid longing //

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Ao longe o mar by Madredeus

Peaceful harbor of shelter
Porto calmo de abrigo

For a bigger future
De um futuro maior

It’s not lost yet
Ainda não está perdido

In the present fear
No presente temor
It does not make sense
Não faz muito sentido

No longer hope for the best
Já não esperar o melhor

Comes from the mist coming out
Vem da névoa saindo

The previous promise
A promessa anterior
When I saw the sea in the distance
Quando avistei ao longe o mar

There I stood looking
Ali fiquei parado a olhar
Yes, I sing at will
Sim, eu canto a vontade

I sing your awakening
Canto o teu despertar

And embracing homesickness
E abraçando a saudade

I sing the time to pass
Canto o tempo a passar
When I saw the sea in the distance
Quando avistei ao longe o mar

There I stood looking
Ali fiquei parado a olhar

When I saw the sea in the distance
Quando avistei ao longe o mar

I accidentally let myself stay there
Sem querer deixei-me ali ficar

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Pedro Ayres Magalhaes
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Soledad y el mar by Natalia Lafourcade

In the song of the waves
En el canto de las olas

I found a rumor of light
Encontré un rumor de luz

For a song of seagulls
Por un canto de gaviotas

I knew that you were there
Supe que allí estabas tú
Firing lately
Despidiendo últimamente

Everything that happened
Todo lo que sucedió

Today, I greet my present
Hoy, saludo mi presente

And taste this sweet goodbye
Y gusto de este dulce adiós
I will sail in your blue port
Voy a navegar en tu puerto azul

I would like to know where you come from
Quisiera saber de dónde vienes tú

Let’s let time stop
Vamos a dejar que el tiempo pare

See our memories in the seas
Ver nuestros recuerdos en los mares

And this loneliness so deep …
Y esta soledad tan profunda…
That in the song of the waves
Que en el canto de las olas

I would like to submerge
Me quisiera sumergir

Getting drunk on its scent
Embriagándome en su aroma

Something new discover
Algo nuevo descubrir
I will sail in your blue port
Voy a navegar en tu puerto azul

I would like to know where you come from
Quisiera saber de dónde vienes tú

Let’s let time stop
Vamos a dejar que el tiempo pare

See our memories in the seas
Ver nuestros recuerdos en los mares

And this loneliness so deep …
Y esta soledad tan profunda…
Let the sea sing to me
Que me cante el mar

A bolero of loneliness
Un bolero de soledad

Let the sea sing to me
Que me cante el mar

That I walk alone, with loneliness
Que ando sola, con soledad
Let the sea sing to me
Que me cante el mar

A bolero of loneliness
Un bolero de soledad

Let the sea sing to me
Que me cante el mar

That I walk alone, with loneliness
Que ando sola, con soledad
Solitude and the sea
Soledad y el mar

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Maria Natalia Lafourcade Silva / Rodolfo David Aguilar Dorantes

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