Poems From The Portuguese
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António Franco Alexandre

(B. 1944)

António Franco Alexandre is one of the greatest voices of contemporary Portuguese poetry in the last thirty years. Books such as ‘Duende’, ‘Uma Fábula’ and the most recent ‘Aracne’ bring together an artisan’s perfection with such an original vision of the world (simultaneously erudite, ancestral, contemporary) that they would suffice to keep an entire literature alive

António Franco Alexandre was born in Viseu, Portugal. From 1962 until 1969, Alexandre lived in Toulouse, France, studying mathematics. From there, he moved to the United States for a time to continue his studies. He received a BSc in Mathematics from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Lisbon. In 1971, he moved to Paris. Following the 1974 Revolution, he returned to Portugal. Since 1975, he has taught philosophy at the University of Lisbon.

Poetry books since 2000:

Quatro Caprichos, Uma Fábula (2001), Duende (2002), Aracne (2004)


I saw Rome burning

27 Abril, 2017By bitcliq

I saw Rome burning, and several neros
tanned by the californian light
timidly stashing away in closets
mothballs and babylonian lyres;
the world’s capitals, one by one,
darkened into froth and cloud,
crushed in their core at night;
but i never saw paris with you inside.

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Aracne (p. 45)

I’ve been round the world, carried
sometimes by the wind, sometimes perched on the back
of the most vigorous migrating birds;
I’ve been through deserts, I’ve seen
beaches bordered by the vague human mist;
adrift on high seas,
I’ve visited the most desolate islands.

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Aracne (p. 9)

Beautiful friend of mine, you may sing to the moon
and love others nimbler than me,
gnaw at a bone, wonder at the stars,
be wise and human, besides being beautiful.
I’ve seen that you write a journal, with
your firm paw, your shiny fur,
and verses, where there always is, however,
a syllable too many held by a thread.

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