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Sobre Antonio Miranda














(1940 - 2007)


TOLENTINO, Bruno.  O mundo como Idéia  1959 - 1999.   São Paulo: Globo, 2002. 445 p.  16x23 cm.  “ Bruno Tolentino “  Ex. bibl. Antonio Miranda.




  1. THE TITLE PIECE (1972)



Uccello's forest opens like a black furnace

into which deer and spear run alike;


blinded and brothered by the gamble in the space

they plunge into that web's couter-attack.

His dream was of a form, yet forms but raise

that dark stretching hand which pulled him back.


I say that all the flutes of the night are bright

and wreck a necklace of visions for one knot;


you say that they run mad against the light

for visions cannot see the eye they sought.

Again I see that deer-and-hunters' flight

into that web and cannot see why not.


All blazing goes the wheel and all you took

is then thrown back once more against one spark;


the dancers turn their backs and when you look

the slaughter is reaching light, all hounds bark.

But those few who went hunting in the dark

are there forever like a shade upon a hook.


Their dawn is iron-black as though some ring

were gathering time and motion in a round;

as fallen feathers from a bony wing

their dream is like a dance upon no ground.

I summon those skeletons to sing

but the huntsmen, the deer and the hounds,


the horses whose breathing, whose necks

stab down the folly of all breath,

the sempiternal dreamers on their backs,

silent and motionless, alien to death,

are in death, mere colours in her blacks.

But where are wings gone? And what is death?





Beloved Master of those few who know

the task is but love (but there is no task

and words cannot hold substance), we are cut

from old spells of loving for we love

in no different way what is different enough

and entangled with the tongues in the soul

we can do little to prove it as we butt

time and again against all notions of a whole

— then, caught into the whirling vertigo,

keep howling there unto the unreal fence

of the body, unsubstancial masque,

commonplace to the stars.


Take no offence

if we come this close to your silence to ask

whether there could be other fires, whether

those spirals we nail love against, dear Master,

could seize our log-like longing, that feather

the Greek seer saw whirling faster and faster

till no shadow was left in the cavern to cast

light upon mere words. Ask me not

from which subtle hands we took our lot,

into what sombre wood was laid the spark

we are to endure and rejoice with: may the answer

keep pace with the flame though no dancer

but mere cogitation in the dark.

Yet tell us which is the stairway, the last

to perform a descent toward animal light,

light of logs meeting to be lit.


We lingered in the moth's bed; we saw

the lion's surrender, the buffalo's jaw

of unquenchable ember; we fight

the daily dove of renunciation; we stare

endlessly into the pupils of the wolf;

we fall; we are exhausted; we spit

ash as you did...

                         Be silent, Master, though

some will cut out one ear for love, our proof,

since we have no proof but love, this love.

Do you remember how it shone afar? Or was it,

for those few who dared to know, not as yet

uncovered from the old mud, Master, that

ascension of the flesh to be slain?

S'io salgo queste scale tu ne vieni

and such is our request: that glare

no one would ever hold, where moth and dove

together dwell again, the sombre stair

blazing with Clyties kiss; that the soul,

mere part, after all, of nought and whole,

come prove kinship with wolf and dove,

Master; that we be arrow and wing again.





Piero saw the fall

of his eastern light

before the fall of day;


he undertook to stare

from closer, from the clay.

Circle, triangle, square,

his ultimate rite

was to redeem it all.

Death was beating a drum

not so far away.

He lived on a crumb,

his last drop was pure

and impure as all light;

light: he knew the cure,

it would have matteredand it still surprises.

He saw the drummer last, then his eyes

were before end scattered.




Virginia Woolf saw

light but as a plotter,

a way to unmask time

from some depth within.

Alas, although she traced

the dark elusive shore,

she was left with no grime

that might secure a floor,

matter was unbegotten.

Yet she was to win ——

light as the foam of things...


By day of slaughter

such light cannot

hold it all up. She,

while trying to replace it,

went turning to water

and unescapably

had to undo her wings.




Dylan Thomas in fire

summoned light: a measure

had to rise or light

had to be complete!

As echoes in the choir,

as part of the rite,

he thought of no pleasure,

no bitter kiss, or sweet,

but of a tongue to touch

and be one with. Such

light at last blew —

neither a noon caress

nor morrow's tender bite:

the lightning was his due,

he had it. No digressing,

no mirrors in the word:

he believed the sword;

he became the pyre.




Old Yeats and his light

fought in the dark; his

was unrequitted love,

so he had to fight.


He saw the bleeding dove,

he knew of the bliss

of light-the-scar,

and yet he fought:     

not to turn his back,

not to escape flesh,

not ever to be caught.

The crystal shade was black;

through blackness shone the star.

Flesh was the dream, yet flesh

was dark, dark, dark.

So was light, each spark...

He shipwrecked in flesh

as a final remark.




For Leonardo light

was part of the key;

but the light of a tavern

as of eternity.

By interweaving both

he was claiming no right

to either time or place,

he was searching the face

where the flame and the moth

would suddenly unite.

Neither was it a game,

except for the soul

he would not tame;

there is no bottom, though.

So he thrusted his key

deeper into that cavern

and retreated, as slow

as that similing sea.


Oxford, 1971


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