Man is conviction ridiculous.
Whenever ridiculous annihilates him
the superior man enjoys superiority perfect.
Dedicating himself to no one
he demands frugal and touching life,
accommodates pride and delusion,
learns to feel without feeling.
To feel is subjection—
the subjecting of sorrows and joys.
Set sail, or stay ships
and sail with everyone in every sensation.
Watching the hearts, every tragedy on earth,
renouncing every battle, victor of them all
shouting crowded the moment, the name
reminded that the people trying to remember, he
realized he dreamed the black hair of breasts.
Instinct wept, stretched,
but remembered all responsibility
in the dreamed sensation
closed its eyes.
Of all he’d felt in one last reflex—
crested by eagles, twilight
Source: an essay by Fernando Pessoa in Poetry Magazine
Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, Liminality, and Kaleidotrope among others. She lives in Seabrook Texas, just five minutes from NASA. She wrangles writers as a freelance editor and volunteers as the associate director of Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas. Find her online @hollylynwalrath or hlwalrath.com.