sábado, 8 de julho de 2017

Os comboios deste país, que não está preparado para responder ao calor, circulam sem ar condicionado ou, pior, com o aquecimento ligado. Ao fim do dia, no calor da tarde, os homens com os cartões dos seus locais de trabalho ainda pendurados aos pescoços, livram-se mecanicamente de blazers e gravatas, quando segundos antes, nas plataformas por onde corria uma aragem, permaneciam imóveis e distraidamente profissionais, a aura do dia de trabalho ainda estampada nos rostos. Agora lembram aquela canção de Tom Waits: the downtown trains are full with all those Brooklyn girls. They try so hard to break out of their little worlds.

quinta-feira, 31 de julho de 2014


Thrown out in a glittering arc
as clear as the winterbourne,
the jug of Murphy's I threw back
goes hissing of the stone.

Whatever I do with all the black
is my business alone.

Don Paterson, Nil Nil

quinta-feira, 13 de março de 2014


'Noise has one advantage, it drowns out words.' And suddendly he realized that all his life he had done nothing but talk, write, lecture, concoct sentences, search for formulations and ammend them, so in the end no words were precise, their meanings were obliterated, their content lost, they turn into trash, chaff, dust, sand; prowling through his brain, tearing at his head, they were his insomnia, his illness. And what he yearned for at that moment, vaguely but with all his might, was unbounded music, absolute sound, a pleasant and happy all-encompassing, over-powering, window-rattling din to engulf, once and for all, the pain, the futility, the vanity of words. Music was the negation of sentences, music was the anti-word!

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Michael Henry Heim (transl.), Faber & Faber, 1995, p. 90.

domingo, 22 de dezembro de 2013

Η Πόλις

Είπες· «Θα πάγω σ’ άλλη γη, θα πάγω σ’ άλλη θάλασσα.
Μια πόλις άλλη θα βρεθεί καλλίτερη από αυτή.
Κάθε προσπάθεια μου μια καταδίκη είναι γραφτή·
κ’ είν’ η καρδιά μου — σαν νεκρός — θαμένη.
Ο νους μου ως πότε μες στον μαρασμόν αυτόν θα μένει.
Όπου το μάτι μου γυρίσω, όπου κι αν δω
ερείπια μαύρα της ζωής μου βλέπω εδώ,
που τόσα χρόνια πέρασα και ρήμαξα και χάλασα.»

Καινούριους τόπους δεν θα βρεις, δεν θάβρεις άλλες θάλασσες.
Η πόλις θα σε ακολουθεί. Στους δρόμους θα γυρνάς
τους ίδιους. Και στες γειτονιές τες ίδιες θα γερνάς·
και μες στα ίδια σπίτια αυτά θ’ ασπρίζεις.
Πάντα στην πόλι αυτή θα φθάνεις. Για τα αλλού — μη ελπίζεις—
δεν έχει πλοίο για σε, δεν έχει οδό.
Έτσι που τη ζωή σου ρήμαξες εδώ
στην κώχη τούτη την μικρή, σ’ όλην την γη την χάλασες. 

Κ.Π. Καβάφης

The City

You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”
You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world. 

Keeley and Sherrard (trad.)

terça-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2013

Livros do ano

Tudo o que não consta desta lista é oficialmente uma merda e pode ser guilhotinado (incluindo tudo o que se publicou no mundo inteiro e eu não li, inclusões na lista podem ser especialmente consideradas mediante o envio de um email com recensões obsequiosas a qualquer volume da minha obra completa que me sensibilizem singularmente para os vossos génios, learn, bitches, se eu estabeleço um sistema em que digo que é bom, estou a pontificar e isso é o que basta para ter kudos). 

The File on H, Kadaré
The Economy of the Unlost, Carson
A Death in the Family, Karl Ove Knausgaard
Os Cães de Tessalónica, Kjell Askildsen
Aimless Love, Billy Collins
Across the Land and the Water, W. G. Sebald
Servidões, Herberto Helder
Broken Hierarchies, Geoffrey Hill (não li, mas mal entrou em casa, desatou a empestar tudo com o cheiro de um dos dois únicos de ambos os tipos de poesia de qualidade que conheço: aquela que é grande e aquela que eu digo que presta).
Oração Fria, Antonio Gamoneda
Laços de Família, Clarice Lispector (desde 1920 livro do ano)
Os Grão-Capitães, Jorge de Sena (livro do ano desde 1919, o último parágrafo de "Homenagem ao Papagaio Verde" epitomiza todos os meus pensamentos sobre quanto é humanidade que para aí respira, alminhas).
The School Among the Ruins, Adrienne Rich
Estradas Secundárias: Doze Poetas Irlandeses, AAVV 
Men in The Off Hours, Carson (desconfio que também já tinha sido livro do ano em 2012) 
The Spirit Level, Heaney (tem um poema que começa assim: no such thing/ as innocent/ bystanding
Le Piccolle Virtù, Natalia Ginzburg (inclui: "Lui e io", "Il mio mistiere" e "I Rapporti Umani"e, se não incluísse também aquele ensaio em que com alguma injustiça diz muito mal de Inglaterra, também chegava).
& etc., Uma Editora no Subterrâneo (também não li, mas tem de constar da lista, a culpa fica com os gajos da Pó dos Livros, única livraria disposta a enviar livros para estrangeirados que conheço, que ainda não mo fez chegar).
Campo Santo, Sebald

Se as listas esperassem mais um pouco, desconfio que o Roots & Branches do Duncan ainda cabia aqui. 
Não me apeteceu fazer itálicos.

sábado, 26 de outubro de 2013


'Thus the sound of speech strives to "express" subjective and objective happening, the "inner" and the "outer" world; but what of this it can retain is not the life and individual fullness of existence, but only a dead abbreviation of it*.' Literature can transcend this dilemma only by keeping faith with unsocial, banned language, and by learning to use the opaque images of broken rebellion as a means of communication.

W. G. Sebald, "Strangeness, Integration and Crisis: On Peter Handke's Play KasparCampo Santo, Anthea Bell (trad.), Sven Meyer (ed.), Penguin Books, 2005, p.67.

*Citação de Ernst Cassirer, Sprache und Mythos (Leipzig e Berlim, 1925, pp-6-7).

segunda-feira, 21 de outubro de 2013

Mycenae Lookout

Cities of grass. Fort walls. The dumbstruck palace.
I'd come to with the night wind on my face,
Agog, alert again, but far, far less

Focused on victory than I should have been -
Still isolated in my old disdain
Of claques who always needed to be seen

And heard as the true Argives. Mouth athletes,
quoting the oracle and quoting dates,
Petioning, accusing, taking votes.

No element that should have carried weight
Out of the grievous distance would translate
Our war stalled in the pre-articulate.

The little violets' heads bowed on their stems,
The pre-dawn gossamers, all dew and scrim
And star-lace, it was more through them

I felt the beating of the huge time-wound
We lived inside. My soul wept in my hand
When I would touch them, my whole being rained

Down on myself, I saw cities of grass,
Valleys of longing, tombs, a wind-swept brightness,
And far-off, in a hilly, ominous place,

Small crowds of people watching as a man
Jumped a fresh earth-wall and another ran
Amorously, it seemed, to strike him down.

Seamus Heaney, 'Mycenae Lookout', The Spirit Level, Faber & Faber, 1996.

domingo, 20 de outubro de 2013

Mycenae Lookout

The ox is on my tongue

Aeschylus, Agamemnon

2. Cassandra

No such thing
as innocent 

Her soiled vest,
her little breasts,
her clipped, devast-

ated, scabbed
punk head,
the char-eyed

famine gawk -
she looked

and simple.
could feel

a missed
trueness in them

a homecoming
in her dropped-wing,

No such thing
as innocent.

Old King Cock-
was back,

King Kill-

What Comes,
King Agamem-
non's drum-

balled, old buck's
stride was back.
And then her Greek

words came,
a lamb
at lambing time,

bleat of clair-
voyant dread,
the gene-hammer

and tread
of the roused god.
And a result-

ant shock desire
in bystanders
to do it to her

there and then.
Little rent 
cunt of their guilt:

in she went 
to the knife,
to the killer wife,

to the net over 
her and her slaver,
the Troy reaver,

saying, 'A wipe
of the sponge
that's it.

The shadow-hinge
swings unpredict-
ably and the light's

blanked out.'

Seamus Heaney, 'Mycenae Lookout', The Spirit Level, Faber & Faber, 1996.

quarta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2013

Todo o paradoxo é desadequação?

He used to speak in oracular riddles about the three paradoxes of his life: he was a Gaul who spoke Greek, a eunuch who was prosecuted for adultery, a man who had quarreled with the emperor and was still alive.

Maud Gleason, Making Men, 'Chapter 1: Favorinus and his Statue', Princeton University Press, 1995.

sábado, 12 de outubro de 2013

To a Dutch Potter in Ireland

Then I entered a strongroom of vocabulary
Where words like urns that had come through the fire
Stood in their bone-dry alcoves next a kiln

And came away changed, like the guard who'd seen
The stone move in a diamond-blaze of air
Or the gates of horn behind the gates of clay.


The soils I knew ran dirty. River sand
Was the one clean thing that stayed itself
In that slabberyclabbery, wintry, puddled ground

Until I found Bann clay. Like wet daylight
Or viscous satin under the felt and frieze
Of humus layers. The true diatomite

Discovered in a little sucky hole,
Grey-blue, dull-shining, scentless, touchable -
Like the earth's old ointment box, sticky and cool.

At that stage you were swimming in the sea
Or running from it, luminous with plankton,
A nymph of phosphor by the Norder Zee,

A vestal of the goddess Silica,
She who is under grass and glass and ash
In the fiery heartlands of Ceramica.

We might have know each other then, in that
Cold gleam-life under ground and off the water.
Weird twins of puddle, paddle, pit-a-pat,

And might have done the small forbidden things -
Worked at mud-pies or gone to high in swings,
Played 'secrets' in the hedge or 'touching tongues' -

But did not, in the terrible event.
Night after night instead, in the Netherlands,
You watched the bombers kill; then, heaven sent,

Came  backlit from the fire through war and wartime
And ever after, every blessed time,
Through glazes of fired quartz and iron and lime.

And if glazes, as you say, bring down the sun,
Your potter's wheel is bringing up the earth.
Hosannah ex infernis. Burning wells.

Hosannah in clean sand and kaolin
And, 'now that the rye crop waves beside the ruins',
In ash-pitts, oxides, shards and chlorophylls.

2 After liberation


Sheer, bright-shining spring, spring as it used to be,
Cold in the morning, but as broad daylight
Swings open, the everlasting sky
Is a marvel to survivors.

In a pearly clarity that bathes the fields
Things as they were come back; slow horses
Plough the fallow, war rumbles away
In the near distance

To have lived it through and now be free to give
Utterance, body and soul - to wake and know
Every time that it's gone and gone for good, the thing
That nearly broke you -

Is worth it all, the five years on the rack,
The fighting back, the being resigned, and not
One of the unborn will appreciate
Freedom like this ever.

from the Dutch of J.C. Bloem (1887-1966)

Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level, Faber & Faber, 1996.