Poems From The Portuguese
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Rui Lage

(B. 1975)

It is a pleasure to welcome one of the new young voices of Portuguese poetry. Rui Lage’s poetry is markedly musical and the frequent use of internal rhymes reinforces the existent strength of its thematic lines, as well as the presence of personal cosmogony. The contemporariness of the media, certain social concerns, religion and science inform Rui Lage’s poems - a constraint-free expressionistic poetry, attentive to the most unsuspected detail and to tradition.

Rui Lage was born in Porto, where he went to university and obtained a PhD, in the area of Romance Languages and Cultures – Portuguese Literature, about the elegy in the 20th and 21rst centuries. He is a literary critic and editor of several publications, a dramatist and a translator, besides being a poet.

Poetry books since 2000:

Antigo e Primeiro (2002), Berçário (2004), Revólver (2006), Corvo (2008), Um Arraial Português (2011)

Poems

TALE OF THE RUINED VEGETABLE PATCH

24 Setembro, 2018By bitcliq

How sad, o country, is the morality
of that rural fable
you gave us to read throughout
the centuries – flutes and rocks,
ravines and rivers, did you, by any chance, shepherd,
reap any benefit? Will you, old man,
find, youthful, your way
to the vegetable garden
after the lifting of the sluice gates?
Who will come in search of
aromatic herbs for the pot?
You’ll be widowed, o country, and till
animals speak again, your mourning
is at eco-tourism’s beck and call.
All said and told, what is left
is the most salty and sorry half
of Portugal:
it heads for the seaside
and braves the waves
but, powerless to beat the current,
beats back to the sands in comical haste –
bottom-holed hulk, crustacean,
heroically sandbanked, bloated
Western surfing board.

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HOMINOIDS (ODE TO THE RIFT VALLEY)

We bear the guilt of our worn out
shop-window eyes, of time squandered
in cafés.
We go through winter in each others’
rooms, and warm our fingers
in the mild fire of spring,
again and again we lower our exhausted faces,
ashamed at times
that we don’t know how to be
what we are.

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BIG GAME

They block the burrow’s passage
sniffing outwards, treading
on some shifty lizard patting
mice bones in the Eden
of another life
while their elf-like tiny ears
prickle and shake off the sun:
two newly born fox pups.

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