Poem By Fernando Pinto do Amaral

I don't know what a spirit is. No one
knows in depth the light of his own abyss
as at night the wind opens
the infinite doors of an empty
house, one by one. My voice
tries to respond to another voice,
to the lament of ghosts celebrating
their black mass, their eternal
disquiet. In a forgotten place
of the damaged city I listen still
to an oracle's whisper,
to the feverish farewell prolonged
by the dying rattle of the clock's hands,
their ferocious rhythm, the pulsing
of my exiled blood remembering
a divine shelter. Our father who art
between heaven and earth, take me
to the precipice where my soul wintered
and teach me how to burst through the dawn
as if my face were
shrapnel from your face
that would miraculously melt
these crystal icicles
unable to be tears.

Translated by Ana Hudson

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Other poems of DO AMARAL


The greatest motivation in his life
was perhaps curiosity.

It drove him on: he approached


Tonight I died many times over, waiting
for a sudden dream to come
and dance in the dark with my soul
as long as it were you who led

The other cheek

You'll be back here, you'll feel
the world's stupidity like a pendulum
striking the right hours
in the rhythm of days, weeks,


My contemporaries speak a lot
and say: "So, here's how it is"
in the brazen manner of ones fed

Lay down your arms

Lay down your arms, go on, stop giving in
to the wills of others manoeuvring you
like a lost pawn in this game
with no rules or truths which might dress you