Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chenjerai Hove

Zimbabwe,February 9, 1956. Other biography data


This war!
I am tired
of a husband who never sleeps
guarding the home or on call-up,
never sleeping!

Maybe inside him he says
‘I am tired of a wife
who never dies
so I could stop guarding’.

© 1982, Chenjerai Hove
From: Up In Arms
Publisher: Zimbabwe Publishing House, Harare, 1982

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Joseph Brodsky

Joseph Brodsky. Russian Poet, born in Leningrad, today S. Petersburg, on May, 24th 1940. Died in New York, on January 28th 1996. Nobel Prize in1987. He wrote in Russian language and some years later in English. In 1964 was condemned in five years to a field of forced work by the soviet state. Then he went on exile to the US and had become an American citizen in 1977.


Give me another life, and I'll be singing
in Caffè Rafaella. Or simply sitting
there. Or standing there, as furniture in the corner,
in case that life is a bit less generous than the former.

Yet partly because no century from now on will ever manage
without caffeine or jazz. I'll sustain this damage,
and through my cracks and pores, varnish and dust all over,
observe you, in twenty years, in your full flower.

On the whole, bear in mind that I'll be around. Or rather,
that an inanimate object might be your father,
especially if the objects are older than you, or larger.
So keep an eye on them always, for they no doubt will judge you.

Love those things anyway, encounter or no encounter.
Besides, you may still remember a silhouette, a contour,
while I'll lose even that, along with the other luggage.
Hence, these somewhat wooden lines in our common language.

Joseph Brodsky

So Forth (1984)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Buland Al-Haydari

A small piece of sand inside the great respect that the free citizen must give to the Great Iraqi People.

Buland Al-Haydari. Iraq (1926-1996)


What do you want postman?
I am far away from the world
with no doubt you are mistaken...
since there is nothing new
that the world can bring to this fugitive.
What was it
is what is still the same:
or buried
or evoke
until the people still has their festives
and there funerals together feast with feast
the eyes unburied in their minds
another bone to a new hunger.
China still has the wall
a whipe myth and a repeated destiny
the Earth still has its' Sísifo
and a stone that does not know what it wants.

with no doubt you are mistaken...
since nothing is new
return to the road
since the road so many times has brought you.
And what we want?

Translated by Isaac Pereira

Sunday, February 25, 2007

César Vallejo

Today a Poet from Peru. A Poet from the World.
César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza
Santiago de Chuco, an Andes village, March 16, 1892
Paris, April 15, 1938


I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Paris-- it does not bother me--
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.

It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.

César Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them,
They hit him hard with a stick and hard also
With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads...

César Vallejo
translated by Thomas Merton

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stanley Kunitz

American poet Stanley Kunitz, Worcester, Massachusetts
July 29, 1905 – May 14, 2006


My name is Solomon Levi,
the desert is my home,
my mother's breast was thorny,
and father I had none.

The sands whispered, Be separate,
the stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.

Stanley Kunitz

Friday, February 23, 2007

José Afonso

Aveiro, August 2, 1929 - Setúbal,February 23, 1987


Love does not deceive me
With his slightness
If of a old flame
badly lives, bitterness

From one black spot
From a cold rock
Which love not delivery
In the empty night?

And the voices embark
In a afflict silence
The more they separate
More listened is the shout

To the waters surface
Sailor night
comes slowly
For my side

In new fields
Near of a wall tree
born red flowers
For the Spring

Thus you know
Sister lark
Say me if you wait
For the rising day

José Afonso
Translated by Isaac Pereira

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nicanor Parra

Chilean poet Nicanor Parra: the "antipoet"
San Fabián de Alico
September 5, 1914


Modern delinquents
Are authorized to convene daily in parks and gardens.
Equipped with powerful binoculars and pocket watches
They break into kiosks favored by death
And install their laboratories among the rosebushes in full flower.
From there they direct the photographers and beggars that roam the neighborhood
Trying to raise a small temple to misery
And, if they get a chance, having some woebegone shoeshine boy.
The cowed police run from these monsters
Making for the middle of town
Where the great year's end fires are breaking out
And a hooded hero is robbing two nuns at gun point.

The vices of the modern world:
The motor car and the movies,
Racial discrimination,
The extermination of the Indian,
The manipulations of high finance,
The catastrophe of the aged,
The clandestine white-slave trade carried on by international sodomites,
Self-advertisement and gluttony,
Expensive funerals,
Personal friends of His Excellency,
The elevation of folklore to a spiritual category,
The abuse of soporifics and philosophy,
The softening-up of men favored by fortune,
Autoeroticism and sexual cruelty,
The exaltation of the study of dreams and the subconscious to the detriment of common sense,
The exaggerated faith in serums and vaccines,
The deification of the phallus,
The international spread-legs policy patronized by the reactionary press,
The unbounded lust for power and money,
The gold rush,
The fatal dollar dance,
Speculation and abortion,
The destruction of idols,
Overdevelopment of dietetics and pedagogical psychology,
The vices of dancing, of the cigarette, of games of chance,
The drops of blood that are often found on the sheets of newlyweds,
The madness for the sea,
Agoraphobia and claustrophobia,
The disintegration of the atom,
The gory humor of the theory of relativity,
The frenzy to return to the womb,
The cult of the exotic,
Airplane accidents,
Incinerations, mass purges, retention of passports,
All this just because,
To produce vertigo,
And the spread of radiomania.

As has been demonstrated
The modern world is composed of artificial flowers
Grown under bell jars like death,
It is made of movie stars
And blood-smeared boxers fighting by moonlight
And nightingale-men controlling the economic lives of the nations
With certain easily explained devices;
Usually they are dressed in black like precursors of autumn
And eat roots and wild herbs.
Meanwhile the wise, gnawed by rats,
Rot in the crypts of cathedrals
And souls with the slightest nobility are relentlessly persecuted by the police.

The modern world is an enormous sewer,
The chic restaurants are stuffed with digesting corpses
And birds flying dangerously low.
That's not all: the hospitals are full of impostors,
To say nothing of those heirs of the spirit who found colonies in the anus of each new surgical case.

Modern industrialists occasionally suffer from the effects of the poisoned atmosphere.
They are stricken at their sewing machines by the terrifying sleeping sickness
Which eventually turns them into angels, of a sort.
They deny the existence of the physical world
And brag about being poor children of the grave.
And yet the world has always been like this.
Truth, like beauty, is neither created nor lost
And poetry is in things themselves or is merely a mirage of the spirit.
I admit that a well-planned earthquake
Can wipe out a city rich in traditions in a matter of seconds,
And that a meticulous aerial bombardment
Smashes trees, horses, thrones, music,
But what does it matter
If, while the world's greatest ballerina
Is dying, poor and abandoned, in a village in southern France,
Spring restores to man a few of the vanished flowers.

What I say is, let's try to be happy, sucking on the miserable human rib.
Let's extract from it the restorative liquid,
Each one following his personal inclinations.
Let's cling to this divine table scrap!
Panting and trembling,
Let's suck those lips that drive us wild.
The lot is cast.
Let's breathe in this enervating and destructive perfume
And for one more day live the life of the elect.
Out of his armpits man extracts the wax he needs to mold the faces of his idols
And out of woman's sex the straw and the mud for his temples.
I grow a louse on my tie
And smile at the imbeciles descending from the trees.

translated by W.S. Merwin

In Antipoems: New and Selected (edited by David Unger), New York, New Directions, 1985

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vinicius de Moraes


Our carnival's at the end
Nobody hears to sing the songs
Nobody's playing with happiness
And inside all hearts
What remains is home sicknesses and leached ashes

At the streets what's seen
People who does not see themselves
Does not smile
Does not kiss and hugh each other
And leave walking
Without dance and without sing love songs.

However is necessary to sing
More than never is necessary to sing
Is necessary to sing and cheer the city

The people sadness
Any day goes to finish
Everybody goes to smile
The hope came back
Is the people who dances
Happy for the life, happy to sing
Because there are many blue things
And we have so great light promises
As much love to love of that people nor know

How I wish to live for see
And to play other carnivals
With the beauty of the old carnivals
So pretty carnival marches
And people singing his song of peace
His song of peace

Vinicius de Moraes
Complete works: "Cancioneiro"

Translation: IP

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Salvatore Quasimodo


Everyone stays alone at the world heart,
pierced by a sun beam,
and suddenly is evening.

Salvatore Quasimodo, Sicily, Italy
1901, Modica - Ragusa - 1960 Naples
1959 Nobel Prize.
Translated by IP

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jacques Prévert

© Robert Doisneau
Jacque Prévert, Paris 1955


I put my cap in the cage
and I left with the bird on the head
one does not greet any more
asked the commander
No one does not greet any more
the bird answered
Ah Good
excuse me I believed that one greeted
the commander said
You are excused everyone can be mistaken
said the bird.

Jacques Prévert,french poet
From the book: Paroles
Translated by: IP

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bai Juyi

Spring Beginning

The snow melts, days are each time hotter,
the ice disappears, sun rays flood the land,
slowly the buds gain force.
Spring does not only undo the frost white of my hair.

Bai Juyi (China. 772-846)


© Isaac Pereira. Macau 2006.Tou Fa. Kam Kat.

Tan Fong Lou

On the way which illuminates the wind - Tan Fong Lou - I carried a tree
It rained. The wind blew.
Before the night comes, it would come the Spring.

I knew.
To the cold,I carried a tree on the way which illuminates the wind.

Isaac Pereira
February 2007

Six Haiku


Rain is cold.
To the top of the mountain
the Spring arrives.


Frozen night.
The fire crack blows
in the river waters.


At the home door
to enter the richness:
- mandarin oranges.


A new moon.
Incense and fire crackers.
The children play.


Tou Fa flowers:
- A Spring tree
inside home.


This day went down.
Inside the wind silence,
a bird flies.

Koi Hui Sio

Macau, 2004

Saturday, February 17, 2007

About Youth – Passing clouds

© Isaac Pereira. South China Sea. 2001

About Youth – Passing clouds

Beaches, coffees, apartments,
places where, for the last time, they had touched the skin.

One day, with the luggage for opening,
one of the lovers will return to the city ruins,
and if not return,
in one another shelter port ,
ever a trip finishes,
will remember the brief summer wind,
the window of the blue room
where, as in the transparent looks screen.
it had tears and some smiles.

Isaac Pereira

Friday, February 16, 2007

Inger Christensen


If I am
alone in the snow
is obvious
that I am a clock

in another way how could
eternity slide

Inger Christensen -1935, Vejle. Eastern coast of Jutland - Denmark
Translated by Isaac Pereira

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht - Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht
February 10, 1898 – August 14, 1956
German socialist dramatist, stage director, and poet of the 20th century.


You little box, held to me escaping
So that your valves should not break
Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train,
So that my enemies might go on talking to me,
Near my bed, to my pain
The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning,
Of their victories and of my cares,
Promise me not to go silent all of a sudden.

Bertolt Brecht

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Les Murray

Leslie Allan Murray.
17 October 1938
An Australian poet.

Les Murray Website


Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.
Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.

Les Murray

Poems the Size of Photographs, 2002

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Another classic.


As long as is expedient, the name of friendship lives,
Just as in dicing, Fortune smiles or lowers;
When good luck beckons, then your friend his gleeful service gives
But basely flies when ruin o'er you towers.
The strollers act their farces upon the stage, each one his part,

The father, son, the rich man, all are here,
But soon the page is turned upon the comic actor's art,
The masque is dropped, the make-ups disappear.

Petronio. 1st. Cent. Satyricon, 80
Translation by W. C. Firebaugh

Monday, February 12, 2007

José Agostinho Baptista

© Isaac Pereira. Trás-os-montes. Portugal.2006

José Agostinho Baptista Homepage


Burn everything, set me on fire, more and more.
Kiss the vast deserts of my combustion.
Do not say anything.
In the twilight,lead me to the fold,
you make to sound the sheep bells and sing near the wind

José Agostinho Baptista. Portuguese poet.
Translation: Isaac Pereira
From the book "Quatro luas", 2006.
Publisher: Assírio & Alvim

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Juan Ramón Jimenez

Juan Ramón Jimenez, Spanish poet. Nobel Prize in 1956.
Moguer, Huelva, south of Andaluzia. 23.12.1881
Santurce, Puerto Rico, 29.12.1958


They sing. They sing.
Where the birds sing, the birds that sing?

It rained. Still the branches
are without new leaves. They sing. The birds
sing. Where sing,
the birds that sing?

I do not have imprisoned birds.
It does not have boys for sell them. They sing.
The valley is far. Nothing...

I do not know where sing
the birds - they sing, they sing -,
the birds that sing.

Juan Ramón Jimenez
Translated by: IP

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Langston Hughes

© Gordon Parks
Langston Hughes, Chicago

Langston Hughes
February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967
American poet.

For the portrait of an African boy after the manner of Gauguin

All the tom-toms of the jungles beat in my blood,
And all the wild hot moons of the jungles shine in my soul.
I am afraid of this civilization-
So hard,
So strong,
So cold.

Langston Hughes, 1965

Friday, February 9, 2007

Ingeborg Bachmann

June 25, 1926 Klagenfurt, Austria - October 17, 1973 Rome, Italy

Poet, writer,essay writer from Austria. Ingeborg Bachmann work crosses with Paul Celan or Walter Benjamin. Poetic language as a iluminate chance, against world horror. She were member of the post-war literature group named Gruppe 47 Paul Celan and Gunter Grass are samples of the group members.
The prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, awarded yearly in Klagenfurt, is named after her death.


Under a strange sky
shadows roses
in a strange land
between roses and shadows
in a strange water
my shadow

Ingeborg Bachmann, Bigger Ursa Invocation
Translation: IP

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Nima Yoshij

Nima Yoshij,The Father of modern Persian poetry
(Portrait by: Hadi Shafaieh)


A night of deep darkness.
On a branch of the old fig tree
A frog croaks without cease,
Predicting a storm, a deluge,
and I am drowned in fear.

It is night,

And with night the world seems
like a corpse in the grave;
And in fear I say to myself:
"What if torrential rain falls everywhere?"
"What if the rain does not stop
until the earth sinks into the water
like a small boat?"

In this night of awful darkness

Who can say in what state we will be
when dawn breaks?
Will the morning light make
the frightening face of the storm

Nima Yoshij(1896 - 1960),Iran.

More information about Nima Yoshij Life and Works:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Homero Aridjis

Today, another latino-american poet, but with greek roots.


It has beings that are more image than substance
more look of that body

so incorporeal we love them
that we almost do not want to touch them with words

since the childhood we search them
more in the dream that in the meat

and always in the threshold of the lips
the morning light seems to say them

Homero Aridjis (Contepec, Michoacán, Mexico,1940)
Translated by José Bento

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Vinicius de Moraes

Vinicius de Moraes, 1960

Second month of this daily notes and other poetic adventures. I wish to share another Great Poet. After Carlos Drummond de Andrade, a Poet, also from Brazil and from the World: Vinicius de Moraes.
Another information at "Poetry and Music" link, to the official Vinicius de Moraes website.


On morning I become gloomy
At noon I delay
At afternoon I become dark
At night I am on fire.

The west the death
Against who am I living
At the captive south
East is my north.

Others will count
Step by step:
I will die yesterday.

I will born tomorrow
I walk where it has space:
– My time is when.

Vinicius de Moraes, Rio de Janeiro,1913-1980.

New York, 1950

Monday, February 5, 2007


© Isaac Pereira
Lisboa, Monsanto. 2007

In the edge of the road, a wild cherry tree:

- Why you walk without seeing me,
slave of Ignorance?
How your eyes are useful?
Withholds! My traveller!

- Cannot, master. I am the one who suppose to have seen everything already.

Koi Hui Sio

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A man...

©Isaac Pereira
Cascais, Guincho. 2006

A man walks.
He sights the sea, mountains,
reptiles over the land.

Koi Hui Sio

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sylvia Plath


Open-mouthed, the baby god
Immense, bald, though baby-headed,
Cried out for the mother's dug.
The dry volcanoes cracked and split,

Sand abraded the milkless lip.
Cried then for the father's blood
Who set wasp, wolf and shark to work,
Engineered the gannet's beak.

Dry-eyed, the inveterate patriarch
Raised his men of skin and bone,
Barbs on the crown of gilded wire,
Thorns on the bloody rose-stem.

Sylvia Plath, E.U.A. (1932-1963)

Friday, February 2, 2007

Eugéne Guillevic

French poet. Born in Bretagne - Carnac, Morbihan, 5 th August, 1907. One of the majors poets in the second half of XX century. In 1976 Guillevic won the Grand Prix de Poetry "Le grand Prix de poésie de l'Académie française". In 1984 he received the "Grand Prix national de poésie". He died in Paris in 1997.


And we leave,

Baptizing the future
With the last tears.

Author:Eugène Guillevic, Sphère(1963)
Translation: David Mourão Ferreira

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Luís Vaz de Camões

© Isaac Pereira
Luís Vaz de Camões tumb at Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon.


Since my eyes don’t tire of weeping
sorrows that don’t tire of weighing on me,
since nothing softens the fire I burn in
for one whose heart I could never soften,

let blind Love be my tireless guide
to lands I don’t know my way out of,
and let the whole world keep on listening
as long as my weak voice doesn’t fail.

And if there’s pity in hills, rivers
and valleys, or if there’s Love in beasts,
birds, plants, stones and streams,

let them hear my long tale of troubles
and use my sorrow to cure their own,
since greater griefs can cure smaller ones.

© Luís Vaz de Camões (1524/5 -1580)
From: Rimas
Publisher: Almedina, Coimbra, 1994
© Translation: 2006, Richard Zenith