Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Poetry

From Voids

By Mbate Pedro
Translated from Portuguese by Sandra Tamele & Eric M. B. Becker
In this meditation on death, the poet tries to climb outside of language.

I stepped back from my death
it was strange and inhuman to me

*

and now my eyes are knives slicing the night to
                                                         split the mist

rising inside
like the tears of a poem
 
 
shedding its sadness
over the warm flight of egrets
flitting about

after the docile defeat

*

now my eyes are knives slicing the mist like a di-vi-ded body

I stepped back from my death

and rose up
clandestine
syllable by syllable
almost like the unwritten poem
and suddenly
hair tousled by days of abandon

I find your discontent
in a commonplace dress
the furled poetic fabric 
that switches the body on

to disarray
 
 
in a song without refrain
some fruit scattered

in the rush to ripen

these mineral days
I want to climb beyond the reach of words
where my death will not be
the death of others too
even if I see my sorrow in yours
and then I don’t.


From
Vácuos © Mbate Pedro. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Sandra Tamele and Eric M. B. Becker. All rights reserved.

English

I stepped back from my death
it was strange and inhuman to me

*

and now my eyes are knives slicing the night to
                                                         split the mist

rising inside
like the tears of a poem
 
 
shedding its sadness
over the warm flight of egrets
flitting about

after the docile defeat

*

now my eyes are knives slicing the mist like a di-vi-ded body

I stepped back from my death

and rose up
clandestine
syllable by syllable
almost like the unwritten poem
and suddenly
hair tousled by days of abandon

I find your discontent
in a commonplace dress
the furled poetic fabric 
that switches the body on

to disarray
 
 
in a song without refrain
some fruit scattered

in the rush to ripen

these mineral days
I want to climb beyond the reach of words
where my death will not be
the death of others too
even if I see my sorrow in yours
and then I don’t.


From
Vácuos © Mbate Pedro. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Sandra Tamele and Eric M. B. Becker. All rights reserved.

Read Next

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]