pax animae

Speak to me no more of earthly pleasures
which I do not wish to savor. My heart
is already dead, and only the ravens of death
will enter its opened chambers.

I have no traces of the past upon me,
and sometimes I am not sure of whether I exist,
since to me life is a desert
peopled with spectral figures.

I see only a planet darkened
by the mists of drizzling twilight,
and, in the silence of profound drowsiness,

My ears only discern something
strange, indistinct, mysterious,
which drags me very far from this world.

José Julián Herculano del Casal y de la Lastra

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mal-de-siècle

The Patient

Doctor, a despair for life,
which is rooted and born in my innermost spirit,
the mal-de-siècle…the same illness of Werther,
Rolla, Manfred, and Leopardi.
Weariness with everything, an absolute
contempt for everything human…an incessant
abhorrence of the vileness of existence
worthy of my master Schopenhauer,
a profound malaise which grows greater
with all the tortures of analysis…

The Doctor

—It’s a question of regimen; go
for a walk first thing in the morning; get plenty of sleep;
go swimming; have a lot to drink; eat well; look after yourself;
what’s wrong with you is that you are hungry!…

José Asunción Silva

midnight

It is delicate, midnight.
I hear the knots of the rosebush:
sap pushing upward rising to the rose.

I hear
the scorched stripes of the regal tiger:
they do not let him sleep.

I hear
a canto of one
as it grows in the night
like a dune.

I hear
my mother sleeping
with two breaths.
( I have slept in her,
for five years.)

I hear the Rhone
that descends and carries me like a father,
blind with blind foam.

And afterwards I hear nothing,
but keep falling
on the walls of Arles
full of sunlight…

Gabriela Mistral

the verb in the infinite

To be created, to beget oneself, to transform
love into flesh and flesh into love; to be born,
to breathe, and cry, and doze.
To nourish oneself to be able to cry

To be able to nourish oneself. And, one day,
to wake up to see the light, the world and hear
and begin to love and then smile and
then smile to be able to cry.

And grow, and know, and be, and have,
and lose, and suffer, and dread
to be and love, and feel oneself cursed

And forget everything when seeing a new love
and live that love until one dies
and go to conjugate the verb in the infinite…

Marcus Vinicius da Cruz e Mello Moraes

Luciana

And for a moment I saw eternity.
I saw the fragile perennial, the flower that is born
and that the wind blows but never destroys.
I saw the mystery, the bright fruit
which the sun lightly touched
and made ripe forever
and caught imperishably.
She was pure and thought herself sensible to evil.
She was innocent and thought she had malice and deceit in her.
In her smile was charm itself.
In her body was held the secret
of those beings death cannot touch.

Augusto Frederico Schmidt

morning song

The morning song is full,
lucid, serene;
it mirrors the emotion of
the world awakening;
it rises from the earth to the heavens
thanking God for the sunrise,
and the revelation of the countryside
when dawn has scarcely stripped its flowers over our heads,
and the brightness, having grown stronger little by little,
offers us the first fruits of morning,
still wet with dew.
On hearing the morning song,
there flutters suddenly within me
the love of this terrestrial realm,
giving new life to hopes and renewing the face of things…

Augusto Frederico Schmidt

rose ideas

My abstract ideas,
that I have touched so often, have become concrete:
they are familiar roses which time brings within reach,
roses which are there at the inauguration of new eras
in my thinking,
in what the world thinks about me and others;
of new eras, but nevertheless
which time has known, knows and shall know.
Roses! Roses!
If only there were abstract roses for me.

Murilo Monteiro Mendes