Alberto Caeiro

Without ever publishing a book,
Without seeing how my poems look in print,
If someone wants to agitate for my cause,
I hope they don't agitate.
If it happens like that, it happens right.

Even if my poems are never printed,
They have their beauty in them, if they really are beautiful.
But they can't be beautiful and stay unprinted,
Because even though their roots are under the earth
Flowers bloom in the air free and easy to see.
It has to be that way. Nothing can prevent it.

If I die very young, hear this:
I was never anything but a kid playing.
I was a heathen like the sun and the water,
I had the universal religion only people don't have.
I was happy because I didn't ask for anything at all,
Or tried to find anything,
And I didn't find any more explanation
Than the word explanation having no meaning at all.

I didn't want anything but to be in the sun or the rain-
In the sun when there was sun
And in the rain when it was raining
(And never the opposite),
Feeling heat and cold and wind,
And going no farther than that.

One time I fell in love, I thought they would love me,
But I wasn't loved.
I wasn't loved for one main reason-
I didn't have to be.

I consoled myself by going back to the sun and rain,
And sitting at the door of my house again.
When all's said and done, fields aren't as green for people in love
As for those who aren't.
To feel is to be distracted.


[trans. Chris Daniels & Dana Stevens]

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