Poems From The Portuguese
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Manuel António Pina

(B. 1943)

Manuel A. Pina’s poetry is full of homecomings. It goes round the city sniffing the air and comes home to stroke the cat – and to convert banality into transcendence. Books inhabit the house, single handedly setting their pages in order, like Manuel’s words inside the sentence that he and nobody else heard at the café or on the crowded street. Afterwards, there’s the silence of the walls, hours on the loose. As the cat retreats into sleep, Pina carefully unveils his most naked poem. Done.

Manuel António Pina (who sadly died in October 2012) was a journalist who lived in Porto. His columns appeared daily in Jornal de Notícias (Porto) and fortnightly in Notícias Magazine (Lisbon). Besides poetry, he also wrote children’s literature, plays, fiction and chronicles.

Poetry books since 2000:

Poesia reunida 1974-2001 (2001), Atropelamento e fuga (2002), Os livros (2003), Mesa de Natal (2006), Farewell happy fields e outros poemas (2007), Gatos (2008), Como se desenha uma casa (2011)

Poems

Things

21 Setembro, 2018By bitcliq

In everything there’s a more-than-thing
staring at us as if saying: ‘It’s me’,
something that’s no longer there or was lost
prior to the thing, and that loss is the thing.

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Returning

Like somebody coming from distant countries outside
himself, arriving at last where he’s always been
and finding everything in its proper place,
the past in the past, present in the present,
so too the traveler arrives at old age
where he and his path become one.

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Report

It’s a small world,
inhabited by small animals
– doubt, the possibility of death –
and lit by the hesitant light of
small stars – the rustle of books,
your steps going up the stairs,
the cat in the drawing room playing
with evening’s last sunbeam.

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Books

Is this then a book,
this, how shall I say? murmur,
this face turned to the inside
of something dark that doesn’t yet exist,
that if touched
by a suddenly innocent hand
opens helplessly
like a mouth
speaking in our own voice?
Is this a book,
this kind of heart (our heart)
saying ‘I’ between we and us?

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