Poems From The Portuguese
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Maria Teresa Horta

(B. 1937)

Maria Teresa Horta’s poetry doesn’t come from quietude nor does it provoke it; the reader will have to experience its burning, for its body advances like a hallucinating living force that simultaneously retreats into its origin. One might conceive her poems as cosmic matter, an erotic and circular route within the blood system, the bleeding rose opening at times into the multiple petals of a baroque metaphor

Maria Teresa Horta was born in Lisbon. After finishing a degree in literature in the University of Lisbon, she became a journalist and later on was a prominent frontrunner in the Portuguese feminist movement. She wrote for several newspapers and magazines. She published her first poetry book in 1960, followed by many others, as well as several works of fiction and drama.

Poetry books since 2000:

Inquietude (2006), Poesia Reunida (which includes 18 poetry books) (2009), A Dama e o Unicórnio (2013)

Poems

PASSION

21 Setembro, 2018By bitcliq

With passion I do
I battle
I undertake my excesses
I stab my heart
I poison
my widely open chest
Passion is my
certain fate
my end and my beginning
To die of love
and of loving
is a death that I deserve

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PORTUGUESE

If the tongue gains
the dimension of writing
and writing takes on
the dimensions of the world
We must go deep
searching saliva’s roots
in the mouth where all is mixed
And there’s still the paper’s haste
its touch steering rough silk
Even if under the skin the disguised thirst
streams through the trail of words
And already it creates
Envelops
Insinuates
Interlaces the spindle with the stitch
as the words weave
along the line
wanting the country’s naked soul
There you can halt
and return to the mouth
That space for the kiss and the chisel
Where the voice reclaims the whole language
exchanging tenderness
for bile
First one side then the other
the scale is settled
Time fusing the embrace
between what is seen and written
Mirror and steel
In this pleasing depth
the sea unfolds
Then with effort lifts up
The world

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POINT OF HONOUR

I unsettle all passion
open space in my arms
insubordinate love
disobey and untie
I wrong-foot my boundaries
I light fires all the time
I set forth the feminine
I take I tear I cross lines
I contradict my fate
speak what I do not hear
I avoid what I was taught
I invent I change I dispose
I refuse my inside-out
killing all that I may dream
I jump over the impossible
I fly wherever I please
I’m a witch
I’m a sorcerer
I’m an unravelling poet
I write
and spit on the flames

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MY LADY OF ME

With myself I disagree
oh my lady
of me
not for weariness or pain
or the body that I feign
With myself I disagree
oh my lady
of me
there is no meeting of minds
with the lover in my arms
With myself I disagree
oh my lady
of me
for I deny the unrest
in the depth of my breast

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EMILY DICKINSON

Her suspended gaze
lost in the outdoor light
very slow, and sharp
Untenable whiteness
born of a vastness
that helps us to see
Takes over poetry
owns it immeasurably
through clarity, rare brightness
Thoroughly sorrowful
immortal
such its forsakenness

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