Friday, April 26, 2013

This old anguish,
Which I've carried around for centuries,
Overflowed from its vessel
In tears, in wild imaginings,
In nightmarish dreams without terror,
In sudden huge emotions that make no sense.

It overflowed.
I am at a loss to know how to live life
With this malaise that is crumpling my soul.
If at least I could be positively crazy!
But no: always this in-betweenness,
This almost,
This it might be that . . .

An inmate in an insane asylum is at least someone.
I'm an inmate in an asylum without an asylum.
I'm consciously crazy,
I'm a lucid lunatic,
I am alien to everything and equal to all:
I'm sleeping while awake with dreams that are madness
Because they are not dreams.
I'm . . .

Poor old house of my lost childhood!
Could you ever have imagined I'd so desert myself?
What happened to your boy? He went nuts.
What happened to the one who slept soundly under your provincial rooftop?
He went nuts.
What happened to who I was? He went nuts. Today he is who I am.

If at least I had some kind of a religion.
The religion, for example, of that idol from Africa
We had at home (the one I've mentioned).
It was unsightly, it was grotesque,
But it contained the divinity of everything that is believed in.
If I could believe in some idol or other --
Jupiter, Jehovah, Humanity . . .
Any one would do,
For isn't everything merely what we think it is?

Shatter, heart of painted glass!


  1. "I'm an inmate in an asylum without an asylum."
    This sentiment is well known to me, and it's somehow reassuring to know that Pessoa felt the same way. Thank you for posting this.