segunda-feira, 5 de janeiro de 2009

Tabacaria - Álvaro de Campos

I’m nothing.
I won’t ever be anything.
I can’t wish to be anything.
Besides that, I’ve got in me all the dreams of the world.

Windows of my room,
Of my room of one of the millions in the world that no one knows who it is
(And if they knew who it is, what would they know?),
You open up to the mystery of a street constantly crossed by people,
To a street inaccessible to all thoughts,
Real, impossibly real, certain, unknowingly certain,
With the mystery of the things underneath the stones and the beings,
With death putting humidity in the walls and in the men’s white hairs
With Destiny driving the wagon of everything through the road of nothing.

Today I’m defeated, as if I knew the truth.
Today I’m discerning, as if I was to die,
And I had no more brotherhood with things
Than a goodbye, becoming this house and this side of the street
The row of carriages of a train, and a whistled departure
From inside my head,
And a shaking of my nerves and a creaking of bones in the going.

Today I’m astonished, as who thought and found and forgot.
Today I’m divided between the loyalty I owe
To the Tobacco Shop from the other side of the street, as a real thing on the outside,
And to the feeling that everything is a dream, as a real thing on the inside.

I failed in everything.
As I made no purpose, maybe everything was nothing.
The learning I was given,
I went down on it through the window in the back of the house.
I went to the countryside with great purposes.
But there I only found lawns and trees,
And when there were people they were the same as the others.
I step aside from the window, sit on a chair. In what should I think?

What do I know of what I’ll be, me who doesn’t know what I am?
Being what I think? But I think so many things!
And there are so many that think they are the same thing that there can’t be that many!
Genius? In this moment
A hundred thousand brains conceive themselves as genius in dreams as I,
And history won’t mark, who knows?, not even one,
Nor there’ll be anything but manure of so many future conquests.
No, I don’t believe in me.
In every lunatic asylum there are crazy lunatics with so many certainties!
I, that have no certainties, am I righter or less right?
No, not even in me…
In how many attic windows and non-attic windows of the world
Aren’t at this time geniuses-to-themselves dreaming?
How many high and noble and lucid aims –
Yes, truly high and noble and lucid -,
And who knows if achievable,
Will never see the light of the real sun nor find people’s ears?
The world is for the ones that are born to conquer it
And not for the ones that dream they can conquer it, even if they are right.
I’ve dreamt more than what Napoleon did.
I’ve squeezed to the hypothetical chest more humanities than Christ,
I’ve made more philosophies in secret than any Kant has written.
But I am, and maybe I’ll always be, the one of the attic window,
Even though he doesn’t live in it;
I’ll always be the one who wasn’t born for it;
I’ll always be only the one who had qualities;
I’ll always be the one, who waited for the door to be opened by a wall without a door,
And sang the chant of Infinite in a hencoop,
And heard the voice of God in a covered well.
To believe in me? No, nor in anything.
Spill the Nature over my fiery head
Its sun, its rain, the wind that finds my hair,
And that the rest comes if it comes, or has to come, or that it doesn’t come.
Cardiac slaves of the stars,
We conquer all the world before getting out of bed;
But we wake up and it is cloudy,
We get up and it is not ours,
We leave the house and it is the whole earth,
Plus the solar system and the Milky Way and the Undefined.

(Eat chocolates, little girl;
Eat chocolates!
See that there’s no more metaphysics in the world than chocolates.
See that all the religions don’t teach more than the confectionery.
Eat, dirty little girl, eat!
Could I eat chocolates with the same truth that you do!
But I think and, while taking off the silver paper, that is of tin leave,
I throw all to the ground, as I’ve been throwing life).

(You that comfort, that do not exist and there for comfort,
Or Greek goddess, conceived as statue that was alive,
Or roman compatriot, impossibly noble and causer of disgrace,
Or princess of singing poets, so gentle and colorful,
Or celebrated cocotte from the time of our fathers,
Or I don’t know what modern – I can’t really envision what –
All of that, whatever it is, that you be it, if it can inspire that inspires!
My heart is like an emptied bucket.
As the ones who invoke spirits invoke spirits I
Invoke myself and I find nothing.
I get to the window and see the street with an absolute clarity.
I see the stores, see the walkway, see the cars that go by,
See the dressed living beings that meet,
See the dogs that also exist,
And all of this weighs on me like a conviction to banishment,
And all of this is foreign, as everything.)

I lived, studied, loved and even believed,
And today there’s not a beggar that I don’t envy just for not being me.
I look at the tatters of each of them and the wounds and the lie,
And I think: maybe you’d never live nor study nor love nor believe
(Because it is possible to make reality of all of it without doing any of it);
Maybe you just existed, as a lizard whose tail is cut off
And that it is tail beyond the lizard rummagedly

I made of me what I didn’t know
And what I could have made of me I didn’t.
The garments I put on were wrong.
They knew me at once for who I wasn’t and I didn’t contradict it, and I got lost.
When I wanted to take the mask off,
It was stuck to the face.
When I took it off and saw myself in the mirror,
I’d gotten old.
I was drunk, I already didn’t know how to dress the garments I hadn’t taken off.
I threw away the mask and slept in the dressing room
As a dog tolerated by the management
For being harmless
And I’ll write this story to prove that I’m sublime.

Musical essence of my useless verses,
I wish I’d find myself as something I’d do,
And didn’t always stay in front of the Tobacco Shop ahead
Putting on my feet the consciousness of existing,
As a carpet in which a drunk stumbles over
Or a rug that the gypsies stole and was worth nothing.

But the owner of the Tobacco Shop came to the door and stayed at the door.
I stare at him with the upset of the badly turned head.
And with the upset of the soul misunderstanding.
He will die and I will die.
He’ll leave the sign, I’ll leave the verses.
At a given point the sign will also die, so as the verses.
Then at a certain point the street where the sign was will die,
And the tongue in which the verses were written.
Then the spinning planet in which all of this happened will die.
In other satellites of other systems something as people
Will keep on making things like verses and living underneath things like signs,

Always one thing in front of the other,
Always one thing as useless as the other,
Always the impossible as stupid as the real,
Always the mystery of the bottom as certain as the sleep of mystery of the surface,
Always this or always other thing or neither one nor the other.

But a man entered the Tobacco Shop (to buy tobacco?)
And the plausible reality falls over me all of a sudden.
I semi rise energetic, convinced, human,
And I’ll intend to write these verses in which I say the opposite.

I light a cigarette while thinking about writing them
And I taste in the cigarette the liberation of all thoughts.
I follow the smoke as a route in itself,
And I enjoy, in a sensitive and competent moment,
The liberation of all speculations
And the conscience that metaphysics is a consequence of being in a bad mood.

Then I lay back on my chair
And I keep smoking.
While the Destiny allows it to me, I’ll keep on smoking.

(If I married my laundrywoman’s daughter
Maybe I’d be happy.)
This being seen, I get up from the chair. I go to the window.
The man has left the Tobacco Shop (putting the change in the trousers’ pocket?)
Ah, I know him; it’s Esteves without metaphysics.
(The owner of the Tobacco Shop came to the door.)
As for a divine instinct Esteves turned around and saw me.
He waved goodbye, I screamed Goodbye Esteves!, and the universe
Rebuilt itself to me without ideals nor hopes, and the owner of the Tobacco Shop smiled.

The original can be found at:

P.S.: I'm aware there could some mistakes in the translation. It is a very complicated piece of writing in its original version, what makes it even harder to translate it. Plus, I'm not a professional translator, not yet.
So my apologies for the possible mistakes.

2 comentários:

  1. "I´m not a professional translator, not yet"

  2. Ainda há pouco tempo vi uma curta metragem que tinha como inspiração e colchão para todo o seu desenvolvimento este poema. Gosto muito.