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Born in São Paulo in 1927, Paulo Bomfim has become a popular cultural figure on radio and television in his native city, through his acting and recorded poetry readings. A leader of the Diálogo literary group, he was honored by the Brazilian Academy of Letters for his Antonio Triste (1946). Among his subsequent volumes of poetry, more exciting for their promise rather than for their absolute artistic worth, are Tansfiguração (1951), Relógio de Sol (1952), and O Colecionador de Minutos (1960).





The tempest lives

As though you were the man walking through it

The tempest lives

As though you were

Rain, wind and lightning

Walking through the man.



The Sea


By way of the bridge of spume

You have arrived.

1 don't know beyond the beach:

The world that generated you;

Whether you have sprung from the breast of day

Or from the cry of night.

1 recognize myself only

In the coral of fingernails and of mouth,

In the liquid eyes,

In the braids of seaweed.

1 know that you float in me,

And your body is clothed

In voices;


You will return to the world of white sands,

And my whisper will be salt,

Shining in your hair.



The Fourth Kingdom


Your hair will tell you

Of the soul of the forest,

Your teeth will reflect

The language of rocks,

Your body will cry

The hunger of animals.

You will be rescued from the shipwreck

Of red rivers:

Forget the cradle of light

And turn yourself into light.





My stranger hands  

Darning the non-being,

Gathering silver bluebells

In empty flowerbeds,

Caressing faces

That smile sweetly

With the melancholy of everything that will not exist.

My stranger hands,

Crossed in the night,

Do not recognize themselves.





I die with the days.

Each night is a trip

Through the kingdom of the dead,

A flower that dispetals

On my bloodless fingers,

A life that I lose

Among angles of fire.

Each morning I keep silent

Before what I was,

I discover the sun for the first time,

And 1 let the flesh envelop

The mystery of the bones,

And the bones bear on their white stems

Buds of eternity.





To sow poppies

In the gardens of chance.

To be delirium with kindled feet,

Tracing spirals

In humid tunnels of brilliance.

To feel yourself as laughter of mirrors,

Music of daggers,

Forest lost in fear.

To grope

In the chasm that attracts chasms,

In the moons of nothing dreaming transparencies,

In silver bells burnt with sound.

To be the gardens of chance,

The sick nerves,

The ruined wall of the captured world;

To die with the cry

And to be reborn from the monochord idea

That drips in the soul

Of the great glassy-eyed day.



The Shadow


We were planned

To deny.

We were created

To be

The night before the star.

We are the black angel

That visits the flesh:

In us the colors are perfumes,

Drops of sun

That slowly evaporate

After moistening the face of the dead.

We inhabit the interior of forms,

The emptiness of gestures,

The solitude of life.

In the night of ages we kindled the torch of gold
So that men would find themselves reflected.

Denying, we affirm.

In the noon of ages

We are soul.



The Idea


He who dies

Turns into idea.

Think your dead.

In each word

Two eyes are spying upon you from the past.

Everything sleeps in the depth of us:

The dispetaled roses in the gardens of Persia,

The moons of blood in Babylon,

The silver galleys sinking in the Nile.

What passes


One day we shall be ideas

Fructifying silence.

Then, no one will remember us

Because we will be present,

In the soul of the idea, in the spoken flesh.



The Invention


Invent in the undergrounds

Moist with silence

The life that created you.

Change the idea into flesh,

The thought into rock,

The dream into water,

The anxiety into fire,

The death into cloud.

Recreate the form

That surrounds you:

Return to the elements that make your flesh,

Return to the beginning of your mystery:
You will be the stone-tomb,
The wood-coffin,

The undone rose,

The male and the female,
Good and evil.

From the womb of your grief

You will be reborn,
Bent over yourself
You will suck the night
And from your lips the day will flow.
— Invent death.




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