Portuguese magic moments

As the color of the clouds slowly changes from lilac to mother-of-pearl at night

in “In the root of dreams”, Vasco Graça Moura, 2010

in the root of dreams*
I know the olive tree has been there
since the beginning of the world, inhabiting time
and intertwined with time, waiting for you.

I know the clouds are darkening in lilac and decide
to go on their slow rounds along the almost indistinguishable borders of sunset. I know you feel it must be so.

I know we can hear the irregular breath of the northwest and what its saline syllables say, prolonging the shells and the resonance echoing from the sea as the color of the clouds

slowly changes from lilac to mother-of-pearl at night, and we’ll hold hands in this Atlantic silence. and I also know the wind will slightly shiver as it summons the feeling gods

to that sacred tree whose greyish green foliage
will shudder from the stridency of the cicadas,
its companions since the warm beginning of the world,

of this world, yours and mine, now discovered, or yet to be reinvented in wisdom undergoing turmoil
in a tenderness verging on incandescence,

in a source of pure joy to which we’ll be giving various names, things of the soul pledged to freedom
and to fantastic lunations and climbers.

I know how jasmine and honeysuckle rise and how summer scents tangled in dreams
around their delicate stems at the twilight and

the musical root of dreams. I know I can find you there.

* In the root of dreams,

by Vasco Graça Moura,

in O Caderno da Casa das Nuvens, 2010

Translated by Ana Hudson

Vasco Graça Moura (b. 1942 – d. 2014) was born in Porto. He studied Law and was involved in politics and cultural organizations all his life. Besides being a poet, he was also a columnist, an essayist, a novelist, and a translator of major poetry works, having translated, among many others, Dante’s Divina Commedia and the complete sonnets of Shakespeare. He published his first poetry book in 1963, followed by many others. His poetry has been translated into several languages.


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