Álvaro de Campos

My poor friend, I don't have any compassion to give you.
Compassion's costly, especially when it's sincere, and on a rainy day.
I mean, there's a price to be paid for feeling on a rainy day.
So let's feel the rain and leave psychology to another kind of sky.

So, it's a sexual preoccupation?
But when you're older than fifteen that's indecent.
Preoccupation with the, let us say, opposite sex and its psychology,
But this is stupid, sonnyboy.
The opposite sex exists to be sought after, not to be discussed.
The problem exists to be resolved, not to be worried about.
Wanting to worry about it is to be impostent.
And you shouldn't reveal so much of yourself.
"La Colère de Samson," do you know it?
"La femme, enfant malade et []"
But it's not like that at all.
Stop making me feel sorry for you, it's so boring!
Look: it's all literature.
It comes to us from outside, like the rain.
In a way we're pages of novels come to life-
Translations, sonnyboy.

You know why it's so sad? It's because of Plato,
Who you never read.
Your Italian sonnet (you never read Petrarch) came out wrong,
And that's just the way life is.

Roll up the sleeves of your civilized shirt
And dig in exact soils!
That's worth more than bothering with someone else's soul.

We're nothing but phantoms' phantoms,
And the landscape isn't helping much today.
It's all geographically outer.
The rain falls because of natural law
And humanity loves because it's been told about love ...



[trans. Chris Daniels & Dana Stevens]

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