A human being is a blend of selfishness,
pain and foolishness. Doesn’t move anyone.
A stone doesn’t move anyone. Beauty
is an ordinary hazard and presupposes death;
it’s often surrounded by folly, and if it speaks to us,
it can be frightening. Intelligence, refreshing
like a shower, feels good in the summer; but now,
when it’s forever winter, what place shall we allocate
intelligence? The one of a maid servant in the chambers
of greed. It doesn’t obviously move anybody.
Goodness does. But it’s so frail
and so rare that nobody hears it. It isn’t easy,
therefore, to find something we can love. I’ve been
searching, and swear I don’t know what to do:
everything, even music, seems to me the result of some flaw.
I wander these streets at random and don’t come across
anybody who can convince me that life could well
be different. Everything is seen under distorting mirrors,
all burns in strange acceptance. Frankly,
I wish someone would prove me wrong.
In having to choose just one poet, I choose José Miguel Silva. My reasons (which I would rather not have to explain, as I lack ability for this sort of thing) should be obvious for any discerning reader that picks up one of his books. On the one hand, the critical, lucid and unencumbered gaze he sets on the world and on the times we live in. On the other, the formal precision, the impeccable rhythm and the richness and expressiveness of vocabulary that distinguish all his poems. But enough of generalities (forgive me, José Miguel). I just want to add that some of the most perfect poems I know were written by him.
José Miguel Silva was born in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the southern bank of the river Douro mouth. He is a translator and contributes sporadically to literary magazines.
Poetry books since 2000:
Ulisses já não mora aqui (2002), Vista para um Pátio seguido de Desordem (2003), Movimentos no Escuro (2005), Walkmen (com Manuel de Freitas) (2008), Erros Individuais (2010)