The Flight of the Bird Passing IV: Poems of Fernando Pessoa

Only Nature is divine, and she’s not divine

 

Only Nature is divine, and she’s not divine . . .

 

If I speak of her as a being

it’s because to speak of her I must use the language of men

Which endows things with personality,

And forces names upon things.

They exist, and the sky is vast and the earth is wide,

And our hearts are the size of a clenched fist . . .

 

Bless me for all I do not know,

I enjoy it all as one who knows there’s always sun.

 

 

 

Rather the flight of the bird passing and leaving no trace

 

Rather the flight of the bird passing and leaving no trace

Than creatures passing, leaving tracks on the ground.

The bird goes by and forgets, which is as is should be.

The creature, no longer there, and so, perfectly useless

Shows it was there — also perfectly useless.

 

Remembering betrays Nature,

Because yesterday’s Nature is not Nature

What’s past is nothing and remembering is not seeing.

 

Fly, bird, fly away; teach me to disappear!

By Alberto Caeiro*

heteronym of Fernando Pessoa 

Translated from Portuguese by Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown

This entry was posted in Art in Nature, Being Human, Check this out, file folders and nut shells, Loss and Leaving, mindworks, paying attention, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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