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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Charles Simic - "I am the last..."

I am the last Napoleonic soldier. It’s almost two hundred years later and I am still retreating from Moscow. The road is lined with white birch trees and the mud comes up to my knees. The one-eyed woman wants to sell me a chicken, and I don’t even have any clothes on.      
       The Germans are going one way; I am going the other. The Russians are going still another way and waving good-by. I have a ceremonial saber. I use it to cut my hair, which is four feet long.

Charles Simic - The Friends of Heraclitus

Your friend has died, with whom
You roamed the streets,
At all hours, talking philosophy.
So, today you went alone,
Stopping often to change places
With your imaginary companion,
And argue back against yourself
On the subject of appearances:
The world we see in our heads
And the world we see daily,
So difficult to tell apart
When grief and sorrow bow us over.

 

You two often got so carried away
You found yourselves in strange neighborhoods
Lost among unfriendly folk,
Having to ask for directions
While on the verge of a supreme insight,
Repeating your question
To an old woman or a child
Both of whom may have been deaf and dumb.

 

What was that fragment of Heraclitus
You were trying to remember
As you stepped on the butcher’s cat?
Meantime, you yourself were lost
Between someone’s new black shoe
Left on the sidewalk
And the sudden terror and exhilaration
At the sight of a girl
Dressed up for a night of dancing
Speeding by on roller skates.

Charles Simic - Autumn Sky

In my great grandmother's time, 

All one needed was a broom 

To get to see places 

And give the geese a chase in the sky. 

 

               • 

 

The stars know everything, 

So we try to read their minds. 

As distant as they are, 

We choose to whisper in their presence. 

 

               • 

 

Oh Cynthia, 

Take a clock that has lost its hands 

For a ride. 

Get me a room at Hotel Eternity 

Where Time likes to stop now and then. 

 

               • 

 

Come, lovers of dark corners, 

The sky says, 

And sit in one of my dark corners. 

There are tasty little zeroes 

In the peanut dish tonight.

Charles Simic - The Body

This last continent

Still to be discovered.

 

My hand is dreaming, is building

Its ship. For crew it takes

A pack of bones, for food

A beer-bottle full of blood.

 

It knows the breath that blows north.

With the breath from the west

I will sail east each night.

 

The scent of your body as it sleeps

Are the land-birds sighted at sea.

 

My touch is on the highest mast.

It cries at four in the morning

For a lantern to be lit

On the rim of the world.

Charles Simic - Nineteen Thirty-Eight

That was the year the Nazis marched into Vienna,
Superman made his debut in Action Comics,
Stalin was killing off his fellow revolutionaries,
The first Dairy Queen opened in Kankakee, Ill.,
As I lay in my crib peeing in my diapers.

 

“You must have been a beautiful baby,” Bing Crosby sang.
A pilot the newspapers called Wrong Way Corrigan
Took off from New York heading for California 
And landed instead in Ireland, as I watched my mother 
Take a breast out of her blue robe and come closer.

 

There was a hurricane that September causing a movie theater
At Westhampton Beach to be lifted out to sea.
People worried the world was about to end.
A fish believed to have been extinct for seventy million years 
Came up in a fishing net off the coast of South Africa.

 

I lay in my crib as the days got shorter and colder,
And the first heavy snow fell in the night.
Making everything very quiet in my room. 
I believe I heard myself cry for a long, long time.

Charles Simic - The Partial Explanation

Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette,
The snow falling outside.

 

Seems like it has grown darker
Since I last heard the kitchen door
Behind my back
Since I last noticed
Anyone pass on the street.

 

A glass of ice-water
Keeps me company
At this table I chose myself
Upon entering.

 

And a longing,
Incredible longing
To eavesdrop
On the conversation
Of cooks.