Sunday Poem


Of the gardens of Adonis, Lydia, I love
Most of all those fugitive roses
…. That on the day they are born,
…. That very day, must also die.

Eternal, for them, the light of day:
They’re born when the sun is already high
…. And die before Apollos’s course
…. Across the visible sky is run.

We too, of our lives, must make one day:
We never know, my Lydia, nor want
…. To know of nights before or after
…. The little while that we may last.

To be great, be whole: nothing that’s you
…. Should you exaggerate or exclude.

In each thing, be all. Give all you are
….In the least you ever do.

The whole moon, because it rides so high,
….….Is reflected in each pool.

by Ricardo Ries (Fernando Pessoa)
from the Poetry Foundation
Translation: Edouardo Roditi