I have translated a couple of short poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, my wife's favorite Brazilian poet. I had tried months ago to translate Joao Cabral de Melo Neto, a poet from Pernambuco, our state, but I find Drummond more attractive because more lyrical, with a fluid syntax. Cabral's lines are patterns of small stones painstakingly arranged. Drummond's style is closer to mine than Cabral's, although I'm sure the more I get into Cabral I will appreciate more because he is known for his narrative poetry. I am only just beginning. Anyway, the main purpose of translating is to strengthen my Portuguese. And to work the poetic muscles.
My sleeping pattern is out of whack. This happens whenever I don't have many responsibilities to attend, errands to run, classes to teach. My bedtime these days is 5:00 or 6:00 AM. I managed to go to sleep before or around midnight last night, but awoke at 2:30 for a bathroom run and failed to fall asleep. There was an obscenely huge pile of dishes in the kitchen, now all clean thanks to me. Also took the time to wash my socks. We share a washing machine with my wife's sister, which is a drag by itself because laundry means hiking back and forth since neither of us can legally drive (wife's working on getting a license; her dad gave her a car he isn't using anymore). We wash socks and underwear by hand because the washer isn't as effective on these articles.
I don't think even the richer people in Garanhuns own dryers, and most people here don't own washers. Usually if you have money, you hire someone to wash your clothes by hand, clean the house, and cook lunch. They're known as empregadas.
So I slept a few hours, got up at 2:30. It is now 7:30. I'm going to stay up as long as I can, see if I can start reversing this sleeping pattern. The new semester starts next week, so I damn well better.