Monday, September 3, 2007

The Pessoa poems

1.I am the escaped one

I am the escaped one,
After I was born
They locked me up inside me
But I left.
My soul seeks me
Through hills and valley,
I hope my soul
Never finds me.

Fernando Pessoa in English

2.Poems from The Keeper of Sheep

One wildly clear day,
The kind when you wish you had done a pile of work
Not to have to do any that day,
I caught sight, like a road ahead among trees,
Of what may be the Great Secret,
That Great Mystery the false poets speak of.

I saw that there is no Nature,
That Nature does not exist,
That there are mountains, valleys, plains,
That there are trees, flowers, grasses,
That there are steams and stones,
But that there's not a whole to which this belongs,
That any real and true connection
Is a disease of our ideas.
Nature is parts without a whole.
This perhaps is that mystery they speak of.

This was what without thought or even a pause
I realised must be the truth
Which all set out to find and do not find
And I alone, because I did not try to find it, found.

I take myself indoors and shut the window.
They bring the lamp and give me goodnight,
And my contented voice gives them goodnight.
O that my life may always be this:
The day full of sun, or soft with rain,
Or stormy as if the word were coming to an end,
The evening soft and the groups of people passing
Watched with interest from the window,
The last friendly look given the calm of the trees,
And then, the window shut, the lamp lit,
Not reading anything, nor thinking of anything, not sleeping,
To feel life flowing over me like a stream over its bed,
And out there a great silence like a god asleep.

Alberto Caeiro

3.I Have a Terrible Cold

I have a terrible cold,
And everyone knows how terrible colds
Alter the whole system of the universe,
Set us against life,
And make even metaphysics sneeze.
I have wasted the whole day blowing my nose.
My head is aching vaguely.
Sad condition for a minor poet!
Today I am really and truly a minor poet.
What I was in old days was a wish; it's gone.

Goodbye for ever, queen of fairies!
Your wings were made of sun, and I am walking here.
I shan't get well unless I go and lie down on my bed.
I never was well except lying down on the Universe.

Excusez un peu ... What a terrible cold! ... it's
I need truth and aspirin.

Alvaro De Campos

4.Crown Me with Roses

Crown me with roses,
Crown me really
With roses -
Roses which burn out
On a forehead burning
So soon out!
Crown me with roses
And with fleeting leafage.
That will do.

Ricardo Reis

5.Love is Essential

Love is essential.
Sex, mere accident.
Can be equal
Or different.
A man's not an animal:
Is a flesh intelligent,
Although sometimes ill.

Fernando Pessoa trans. from the Portugese by J. Griffin.

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