FERNANDO PESSOA / ÁLVARO DE CAMPOS
I am nothing.
Never I'll be anything.
I cannot wish to be anything.
Aside from this, I have within me all the dreams of the world.
Windows of my bedroom,
Of my bedroom of one of the world's millions nobody knows who is
(And if they knew who is, what would they know?)
Give access to the mystery of a street constantly crossed by people.
To a street inaccessible to all of thoughts,
Real, impossibly real, certain, unknowingly certain,
With the mystery of things beneath the stones and beings,
With death putting dampness in the walls and men's white hairs,
With Destiny driving the wagon of everything through the road of nothing.
Today I am defeated, as if I knew the truth.
Today I am lucid, as if I were about to die
And had no more brotherhood with things
Than a goodbye, becoming this house and this streetside
A row of train wagons, and a whistled departure
From inside my head,
And a jolt of my nerves and a grind of bones on the going.
Today I am perplexed, as one who wondered and found and forgot.
Today I am divided between the loyalty I owe
To the Tobacco Shop on the other side of the street, as external real thing,
And to the feeling that everything is a dream, as inward real thing.
I have failed in everything.
And since I had no purposes, maybe everything was nothing.
The learning they gave me,
I go down from this by the window at the back of the house.
I went to the open country with grand purposes.
But there I found only grass and trees,
And when there were people, they were just as other.
I move away from the window, I sit in a chair. What shall I think about ?
What know I about what I will be, I who don't know what I am?
To be hat I think? But I think to be many things!
And there are many people thinking they are the same thing then
cannot be possible there are many!
Genius? At this moment
Hundred thousand brains conceive themselves in dream as geniuses like me,
And the History won't mark, who knows?, not even one,
No, I don't believe in myself.
In all of madhouses there are madpersons insanes with so many sureties!
I, who I have not any surety, am more sure or less sure?
No, not even in myself...
In how much garrets and no-garrets of the world
At this moment are there geniuses-for-themselves dreaming?
How much high and noble and lucid aspirations -
Yes, truly high and noble and lucid -,
And who knows if realizable,
Never they will see the real sun's light nor will find people's ears?
The world is for the one who that is born to conquest it
And not for the one who dreams might can conquest it, even
the one have reason.
I have dreamed more than Napoleon did.
I have held tight to the hypothetical chest more humanities than Christ,
I have secretly created philosophies which no Kant has ever written.
But I am, and maybe always should be, the one from the garret
Although I don't live in it;
I shall always be the one not born for this;
I shall always be the one who just had qualities;
I shall always be the one who has waited for a gate to open to him
near a doorless wall
And sang the ballad of the Infinite in a poultry yard,
And heard God's voice in a covered well.
Believe in myself? No, nor in anything.
May Nature be spilled on my feverish head
Her sun, her rain, the wind that finds my hair,
And the rest, let it come if it must, or not come.
Heartly slaves to the stars,
We have conquered the whole world before leaving our beds;
But we were awakened and it was opaque,
We rose and it was indifferent,
We left the house and it was the whole earth,
Moreover the Solar System, the Milky Way and the Indefinite.
(Eat chocolates, little one;
Know there are no metaphysics in the world but chocolates.
Know that all religions don't teach more than confectionery.
Eat, dirty little one, eat!
If only I could eat chocolates with the same truth as you do!
But I think and, when I lift the silver paper of a tin-foil leaf,
I let everything fall to the ground, as I have lost to my life.)
But, at least, remains from the bitterness of what I will never be.
The speedy calligraphy of these verses,
Broken portico to the Impossible.
But, at least, I devote to myself a despisal without tears,
Noble, at least, in this wide gesture with I throw
The dirty clothes that I am, without roll, to the course of things,
And I stay in home without shirt.
(You, who consoles, not exists and so console,
Or greek goddess, conceived as a living statue,
Or roman patrician, impossibly noble and nefast,
Or princess of minstrels, very gentil and colorful,
Or marquess of eighteenth century, décolleté and very so far,
Or famous cocote of the time od our fathers,
Or modern thing I not know – I not know what -
all of this, be what will be, what you are, if you can inspire then inspire!
My heart is a poured out bucket.
As that ones invocating spirits invocate spirits I invocate
Myself and I find nothing.
I come close to the window and I see the street with a absolute clearness.
I see the shops, I see the sidewalks, I see the passing cars,
I see the dressed living ones crossing by themselves,
I see the dogs also existing,
And all of this is foreign, as everything. )
I lived, studied, loved, and even believed,
And today there is no beggar whom I not envy just for he is not me.
I look at everyone the rags and the sores and the lie,
And I think: maybe never I had lived nor studied nor loved nor believed
(For is possible to make the reality of all of this without making nothing about this)
Maybe existed just as lizard which the tail they had cut
And the tail besides the lizard at movement.
I had made with myself what I never knew,
And what I could make with me I did not.
The domino which I dressed was wrong.
They knew me soon as who I am not and I not deny and lost myself.
When I want draw out the mask,
It was glued to the face.
When I drew out and saw myself at the mirror,
Already I had aged.
I was drunk, already I not knew how dress the domino I had not drawn out.
I threw away the mask and I slept in the cloakroom
As a dog tolerated by the manager
Because it is harmless
And I will write this history to prove I am sublime.
Musical essence of my useless verses,
If I could find you as something I had made
And not stay always in front of the Tabacco Shop in front,
Treading underfoot the consciousness of be existing,
As a carpet where a drunkard stumbles on
Or a door-mat stolen by gypsies and it worths nothing.
But the Tobacco Shop owner has come to the door and is standing there.
I look at him with the discomfort of an half-turned head
And the discomfort of a soul understanding a bit.
He shall die and I shall die.
He shall leave his signboard and I shall leave my verses.
His sign will die, and so will my verses.
And after any moment will die too the street where the signboard is,
And so will the language in which the verses are written.
And so will die the whirling planet where all of this happened.
On other satellites of other systems something like people
Will go on making something like verses and living under things like signboards,
Always one thing in front of the other,
Always one thing as useless as the other,
Always the impossible as stupid as the real,
Always the mystery of the bottom as sure as the sleep of mystery of the top.
Always this or always some other thing, or neither one nor the other,
But a man has entered the Tobacco Shop (to buy tobacco?),
And the plausible reality suddenly falls upon me.
I half rouse myself, energetic, convinced, human,
And I will try to write these verses in which I say the opposite.
I light a cigarette as I think about writing them.
And I taste in the cigarette the liberation from all thoughts.
I follow the smoke as if it were a particular course,
And enjoy, in a sensitive and competent moment,
The liberation of all the speculations
And the conscience that metaphysics is a consequence of bad disposition.
After I lie down on the chair
And continue smoking.
While Destiny allows to me, I will keep smoking.
(If I married my washwoman's daughter
Maybe I should be happy.)
Then, I rise. I go to the window.
The man has come out from the Tobacco Shop (putting change in the pocket of trousers?).
Ah, I know him: he is Esteves without metaphysics.
(The Tobacco Shop owner has come to the door.)
As if by a divine instinct, Esteves turned around and saw me.
He waved goodbye, I greet him "goodbye oh Esteves!", and the universe
Reconstructed itself for me, without ideal nor hope, and the Tobacco Shop owner smiled.
Trad. livre by Leonardo de Magalhaens