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

I only ask the gods to grant me


I only ask the gods to grant me

That I nothing of them. Happiness is a burden,

Good Fortune a yoke,

Both bespeaking to secure a state,

Not composed or discomposed, I’d calmly live

Beyond that state in which men take

To sorrows and to joys




My gesture that destroys


My gesture that destroys

The hill of ants

The ants might think’s inflicted by some godly being

But I do not take myself to be divine.


And so perhaps the gods,

Whether they are or not,

Simply because they’re greater than we

Are taken for our gods.


Where ever the truth may lie,

May we each avoid

Full faith, perhaps unfounded

In those we do believe are gods.


By Ricardo Reis

heteronym of Fernando Pessoa 

Translated from Portuguese by Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown

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

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