Poems From The Portuguese
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Renata Correia Botelho

(B. 1977)

Although Renata’s poems are brief, they carry no sense of closure, concealment or erasure; they bring the importance of a voice – internal, consequential – that connects distances through bridges; a voice that brings memory, loss, desire into a certain moment, and is capable of switching an instant on or off as a sure path to its feeling. Poems that breathe like birds and make themselves heard not for their song but for the vibration they leave behind.

Renata Correia Botelho was born in the Azores islands where she lives and works. She read Psychology at the University of Porto. Her main artistic interests and collaborations reside in poetry, painting and dance.

Poetry books since 2000:

21 Haiku com Asas, Urbano E Cabras (2008), Um Circo no Nevoeiro (2009), Avulsos por causa (2010), small song (2010), Esta Casa (2013)


you, who saw …

you, who saw fjords and corals,
who arrived from subterranean
words and from what is left
to be said, who learned silence
in many languages and one day
flipped a coin to cheat
death, how many more verbs
do you need to go through
this pointless narrative?

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letter to A.

you saw the days were little more
than this, and you saw right. on that side
of the sky, you have a better view
on the dawn. if you ever find
the little chick we buried
in secret and tears, in auntie’s
garden, ask for the
bow of his wings on moonless nights.
send me, when you can,
packets of rain drizzle, I like seeing
it paste the earth, dissolve
with the corn seeds
at the far end of achadinha.
meanwhile, i’ll carry on assembling
the telescope, with the instructions
you left me. you go where i can see you
and we’ll arrange an ice cream
in the hour of childhood.

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it has the most tired feet …

it has the most tired feet
on earth, the man had said
while the three of them carried
the hydrangeas: sitting on its back
the child looked at the donkey and
at life unravelling at each bend of the road
like a sepia photograph from which
one never comes back. a very long
time afterwards, on the same road,
she saw the man on his own, no donkey
no flowers, and recognised in herself
the immense tiredness of the world.

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i sense god, every night, in the lilies
of Monet. they watch over me,
this uncertain shadow that steadily
dies with me, they cover
with living sap the darkness of the house
and keep away demons
that hide in the slits of sleep.
in the morning, i gather the tender petals
fallen on the bed sheet, and with the sparrows
i whisper a prayer, a blank verse.

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