Monday, 4 April 2011

Me and the Amazon

I've never sailed the Amazon,
I've never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdelana,
They can go there when they will!

Yes, weekly from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll down—roll down to Rio!)
And I'd like to roll to Rio
Some day before I'm old!

I've never seen a Jaguar,
Nor yet an Armadill
O dilloing in his armour,
And I s'pose I never will,

Unless I go to Rio
These wonders to behold—
Roll down—roll down to Rio—
Roll really down to Rio!
Oh, I'd love to roll to Rio
Some day before I'm old!

This is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, following "The beginning of armadillos" in Just So Stories. I loved the book when I was a child, and I loved the poem, not least because it was full of these magic words: Amazon, Brazil, Rio. I wasn't even sure whether there was indeed such a place or whether it was merely a fairy-tale Once Upon a Time. 

There was another children's poem about Brazil, by the great Russian children's poet Samuil Marshak. It was about a letter that follows the addressee all over the world - to show the little reader how post works. One of the countries mentioned was Brazil, and there was a postman called Bazil, and again it could just as well be in another universe. 

Well, I have been to Rio, but I haven't sailed the Amazon, and I hope to do it before I am old. Before I am too old. In about ten weeks.


Anonymous said...

И я хочу в Бразилию...

Maria Nikolajeva said...

А в солнечной Бразилии,
Бразилии моей,
такое изобилие
невиданых зверей