One Impossible Step

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



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Selected Poems

Additional information

Weight .3 lbs

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.


Thank you for translating this goddess!

-Adelaide Ivánova
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ISBN: 9781643621555
Paperback, 112 pages, 5.5 x 8 in
Publication Date: November 21, 2023
Translator(s): Chris Daniels

Daniels must face the difficulty of translating poetry that is, at its core, concerned with both languages beyond those of the human and with the grammar of silence. . . In One Impossible Step, the approach is to explore, chronologically, a few select subjects in Fontela’s oeuvre before moving to a study of her poetics. The resulting benefit is that the reader is provided an opportunity to consider Fontela’s evolution as a poet, as she plays with form and plumbs for deeper insight into the world.

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