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Surrounded by Fernando Pessoa’s poetry


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here are two poems by the incredible writer Fernando Pessoa in its original Portuguese, and then translated into English below.

O Dos Castelos

A Europa jaz, posta nos cotovelos:
De Oriente a Ocidente jaz, fitando,
E toldam-lhe romanticos cabelos
Olhos gregos, lembrando.

O cotovelo esquerdo e recuado;
O direito e em angulo disposto.
Aquele diz Italia onde e pousado;
Este diz Inglaterra onde, afastado,
A mao sustenta, em que se apoia o rosto.

Fita, com olhar esfingico e fatal,
O Ocidente, futuro do passado.

O rostro com que fita e Portugal.


The Field of the Castles

Europe lies, reclining upon her elbows:
From East to West she stretches, staring,
And romantic tresses fall over
Greek eyes, reminding.

The left elbow is stepped back;
The other laid out at an angle.
The first says Italy where it leans.
This one England where, set afar,
The hand holds the resting face.
Enigmatic and fateful she stares

Out West, to the future of the past.

The staring face is Portugal.


Tormenta

Que jaz no abismo sob o mar que se ergue?
Nos, Portugal, o poder ser.
Que inquietacao do fundo nos soergue?
O desejar poder querer.

Isto, e o misterio de que a noite e o fausto..
Mas subito, onde o vento ruge,
O relampago, farol de Deus, um hausto
Brilha, e o mar ‘scuro ‘struge.


Storm

What lies in the abyss beneath the sea that rises up?
We, Portugal, the possibility of becoming.
What restlessness from the depths lifts us up?
The wish to be able to become.

This, and the mystery of which night is the splendour.
But suddenly, where the wind roars,
A lightning bolt, beacon of God, for a moment
Shines and the dark sea thunders.

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