Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pessoa, Bossa Nova, "I'm in no hurry." A Pessoa poem.

Beatriz Milhazes (Brazilian, 1960)

Fernando Pessoa / Alberto Caeiro does seem to presage bossa nova with its languorous love of the now of beauty. My comparison of Pessoa to bossa nova is based on the shared language--Portuguese, rather than geography, which wasn't shared.  Pessoa lived in Portugal, as we all know, and as we all know, bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim & co., are Brazilian.

But this thought, which, really (or as you might suspect), just occurred to me, does incline me to transmigrate my soul into a Portuguese-speaking body, and, while we are at it, in Brazil rather than Portugal. I'm always eager to escape European shadows though Pessoa's is a shadow providing sun.

Hey, ignore me and read this poem which I found on  A better blogger than myself would rethink her freewheeling associations and present interpretation. I am not the better blogger.  Heart heart Pessoa.  This poem is not titled.

I’m in no hurry. What for?
The sun and moon aren’t in a hurry: they’re right.
Hurrying is believing people can get past their legs,
Or that, jumping, they can land past their shadow.
No; I don’t know how to hurry.
If I stretch out my arm, I get exactly where my arm gets---
Not even a centimeter farther.
I only touch where I touch, not where I think.
I can only sit down where I am.
And that’s funny like all really true truths,
But what’s really funny is that we’re always thinking something else,
And we live truant from our reality.
And we’re always outside it because we’re here.
Fernando Pessoa / Alberto Caeiro (6/20/1919)


  1. Sarah, Thank you for bringing out the work of Pessoa. What an interesting poet! Wrote in nine different voices, I belive, and might even be of interest to today's readers because of the multiple voices and his willingness to take chances which in his lifetime, got him little or no recognition.

  2. He would fit in today, or at least his poetic voice would. It may be that nonrecognition or outsider status is intrinsic to certain personalities or spirited souls. That's the kind of thing we could debate forever. Thanks for stopping by, Deb.