The Fiction Follows Me

But the ideal Juliet of the best possible reality closed the high
window of the literary encounter on the fictitious Romeo of my blood.

The sun that gilds the summits will gild them more for him than for someone at the top who must endure the bright light;
and the palace perched high in the woods will be more beautiful for those who see it from the valley than for those who
imprisoned in its rooms,
forget it.

Every soft thing I lean against hurts my soul with sharp edges.

Even though they’re ours,

or that only our organic existence
need consider and our vital functions worry about.

To see all the things that happen to us as accidents or incidents from a novel,
which we read not with our eyes but with life.

Soon it would reach the sun,
and the usual city noises seemed to hush,
as if waiting.

The fiction follows me,
like my shadow.

The leaves’ tattered shadows,
the birds’ tremulous song,
the river’s long arms shimmering coolly in the sun,
the plants,
the poppies,
and the simplicity of sensations—even while feeling all this,
I’m nostalgic for it,
as if in feeling it I didn’t feel it.

The unequal cans of the milkmen jangle like absurd hollow keys.

—António de Seabra, A Águia, from "The New Poetry Sociologically Considered"