Poems From The Portuguese
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Bernardo Pinto de Almeida

(B. 1959)

Bernardo Pinto de Almeida has a natural capacity for weaving a cloth so that the poem reveals itself as if a picture of a living body on a canvas of words and images.' (Guy Barker, British poet, 1964-2009)

Bernardo Pinto de Almeida, art historian and critic, lives in Porto. He is a Professor in the Arts Faculty of the Porto University.

Poetry books since 2000:

e outros poemas (2002), sem título, A sétima face (2002), Depois que tudo recebeu o nome de luz ou de noite (2002), Hotel Spleen (2003), Marin (2003), segunda pátria (2005), A Noite (2006), Cinematógrafo (2007), Negócios em Ítaca (2011)

Poems

Ophelia

My love, I will take from your hands,
when you are asleep, the abandoned flower
that they barely hold, and from your lips,
which I will silently contemplate,
I will just retain the vision of a kiss. I know
that in your body now at rest, I would find mine,
like a shipwreck would find at sea
its own peaceful destiny.

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Images

Leaf through these images, as if
each one were a petal that your fingers
touch: such is the delicacy that her face
pleads for when, far away,
it can only be seen in them,
images brought to oblivion. All
you need is to keep them in a box,
or avert the eyes, and they are gone. An image
doesn’t breath, though yearningly close: doesn’t
exhale the slow scent that a singular
body communicates, doesn’t grant the light
touch of a hand, doesn’t hold
the intense vagueness of a gaze, or
the feeling of an unforgettable kiss.

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As seen by Ulysses

The guests were arriving and
I noticed you weren´t there. Nothing
unusual really, I don’t know why
I should have imagined otherwise. You were
plainly not in the film, you hadn’t been cast,
even if I’d suddenly spotted you
outside, among the eagerly gathered
crowd, curious to see what went on
in those glittery party rooms.

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Aesthetic Theory

If my hand touches your skin,
instant accidents happen: unexpected
flowers bloom, earthquakes,
fires, revolutions perhaps,
sudden climate changes, delays
in train times, people
urgently kissing in the streets. We’ve
witnessed it: the solar explosion
of precise things, the road opening to the heart
of all beginnings.

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