Babelfish

The River Of My Village

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Poetry is definitely an art form. I do think that people often over-think its meaning. When you read a poem, and it makes you feel something, it has achieved its goal. That is how I read poetry. Like any other art form it is highly objective. So if “Os Versos Que Eu Te Fiz” by Florbela Espanca didn’t do it for you, this one might. It’s called “O Rio Da Minha Aldeia” and it is written by Alberto Caeiro, one of Fernando Pessoa’s many pseudonyms.

Fernando Pessoa is another one of Portugal’s fascinating poets. In my opinion, he probably is very much a child of his time and an intriguing personality. In this day and age he would probably be in a mental institution. I would say he was schizofrenic. And a genius. No doubt about that! One of his pseudonyms, Ricardo Reis, sailed off to Brazil and was never heard from again – that is to say, until another one of Portugal’s greats José Caramago published a book called ‘The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis’.

Imagine a beautiful, ancient city. Imagine the sun reflecting off the river. Imagine a statue very similar to Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer watching over you. Imagine a bridge very similar to one in San Francisco. Imagine blistering heat. Imagine a cold beer or a cheap cocktail in your hand. Imagine a long overdue holiday. Imagine there is nothing you need to do. Breathe in. Breathe out. Lisbon…

O Rio Da Minha Aldeia

O Tejo é mais belo que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia,
Mas o Tejo não é mais belo que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia
Porque o Tejo não é o rio que corre pela minha aldeia.

O Tejo tem grandes navios
E navega nele ainda,
Para aqueles que vêem em tudo o que lá não está,
A memória das naus.
O Tejo desce de Espanha
E o Tejo entra no mar em Portugal.
Toda a gente sabe isso.
Mas poucos sabem qual é o rio da minha aldeia
E para onde ele vai
E donde ele vem.
E por isso porque pertence a menos gente,
É mais livre e maior o rio da minha aldeia.

Pelo Tejo vai-se para o Mundo.
Para além do Tejo há a América
E a fortuna daqueles que a encontram.
Ninguém nunca pensou no que há para além
Do rio da minha aldeia.

O rio da minha aldeia não faz pensar em nada.
Quem está ao pé dele está só ao pé dele.

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For a translation, click here!

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