One Impossible Step

A selection of extraordinarily condensed, emotionally complex, philosophical poems by a unique and highly regarded 20th-century Brazilian poet.



Selected Poems

Additional information


eBook, Paperback

In her lifetime, Orides Fontela resisted all labels, all attempts to situate her work in a particular movement, school, tendency, or tradition. Here, in her first ever English-language collection, Fontela’s poetry continues to defy easy categorization. In these concise, meditative poems, Fontela’s bird and flower, water and stone, blood and star can be read as symbols, indicating a possible tendency toward mysticism. Including an illuminating statement of poetics and excerpts from her often acerbic interviews, One Impossible Step introduces English-language audiences to an iconoclast who remains one across languages and decades.

ISBN: 9781643621555
Paperback, 112 pages, 5.5 x 8 in
Publication Date: November 14, 2023
Translator(s): Chris Daniels

“At the heart of her search through and for the solid forms, she reaches a place where the act of seeing both faces itself and yearns for the thing beyond. She is a kind of symbolist poet. Her linguistic universe has little adornment, yet it is one of deep feeling.”

-Brenda Hillman
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Orides Fontela was born in 1940 in São João da Boa Vista, in the interior of São Paulo, and died in 1998. She studied philosophy at the …

More about Orides Fontela

Chris Daniels is a prolific, widely published, autodidact and feral translator of global Lusophone poetry. Recent translations include ​​a black body by Lubi Prates (Nueva York Poetry Press, 2020) and …

More about Chris Daniels