Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Last Poem by Manuel Bandeira

I would like my last poem thus

That it be gentle saying the simplest and least intended things
That it be ardent like a tearless sob
That it have the beauty of almost scentless flowers
The purity of the flame in which the most limpid diamonds are consumed
The passion of suicides who kill themselves without explanation.

- translation from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Bishop

Note: In 1951, poet Elizabeth Bishop received a $2,500 travel grant to circumnavigate Latin American. She landed in Santos, Brazil that fall, intending to stay two weeks, she lived there fifteen years.

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