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

One after another, hard-pressed waves


One after another, hard-pressed waves

Curl in their green motion

And hiss white foam into

The brownness of sea shores.


Leisurely clouds one after another

Break open their round motion

And sun burns the air space

Between the scanty clouds.


Only a vague inconsequential ache

Halts a moment at the portal of my soul

And, after staring briefly at me,

Passes on , smiling at nothing.




I don’t want the sincere gifts


I don’t want the sincere gifts

You pretend to give me

As presents of your offering

Give me what I will lose,

Grieving for it lost, twice

over, for you and me.


Better to promise me it without

Giving it, so the loss

Will be more in hope

Than in memory.


I’ll take no more displeasure

Than in life’s continuing,

Seeing that as days pass, what’s

Hoped for is delayed, which is nothing.


By Ricardo Reis

heteronym of Fernando Pessoa 

Translated from Portuguese by Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown

This entry was posted in Being Human, Check this out, Loss and Leaving, mindworks, Other peoples words, philosophy, poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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