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Aside

Poetas Portugueses de Macau

26 May

A selection of poems from Poetas Portugueses de Macau or Portuguese Poets of Macau, ed. Christopher Kelen and Lili Han (Macau: ASM, 2009).

 

Beatriz Basto da Silva: Miniature

The poet signed with the old Chinese chop

and the child gazed

attracted

by the pretty sign

and the matrix

that made the stamp

No one could say

where the poetry vibrated more

on the rice paper

or in the delighted eyes

of the little child (74)

 

José Maria Rodrigues: Memoir of Paradise

If I could I would invent another sky

Still more uselessly blue

 

Or I would invent the word

Still more useless when spoken

 

If I could I would invent another time

Still more useless for being brief

 

And I would raise you by the arm

Still more uselessly strong. (326)

 

The Old Men

They sit on park benches

Watching life go by

They look furtively

At the young women

 

Staring at them is forbidden

For young women are sacred

And the eyes of old men are impure.

 

What hurts them is not growing older

But that existence is no longer belonging. (328)

 

Point of view

In the eyes of the woman

The illusion of loving,

For God or against God

The illusion of being

And going on

And staying.

 

Trap of a convict

Flirting with luck,

Miracle of existence

Postponing death. (336)

 

Margarida Ribeiro: The rickshaw man

But, as I don’t know how to speak

I don’t know how to ask.

He laughs…I also laugh.

He laughed…until finally,

I saw in the newspaper

That the old man had died of cold.

 

He wasn’t happy –

no money,

no family,

died unmarried,

had a house where he lived.

The house was the cart

Though well sealed

Still it let the cold kill him…. (396)

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