Poems in Portuguese

I have only written and shared a few poems in Portuguese and I will include them here, with a rough English translation.

My Brazilian bird poems are all written in Portuguese but their grammatical structure works a bit differently so I tend not to think about them as being written in the same way.

Writing in Portuguese has been an amazing breakthrough for me you can read more about that here.

English translation

Little mosquitoes
Bows everywhere
Curly hair
Furrowed brows
Big laughs
Such sweetness
Much firmness
School of music
School of life

This poem came to me while I was thinking back to the community violin lessons I was able to attend in a favela where we lived. The lessons were taught by Raquel Oliveira who I can safely say is the best music teacher I have ever had.

English translation

Living word
That washes lives
Plough up mine

Cultivate my mind
So it would bear fruit

This poem came to me when I was struck by the musicality of a remark our pastor Michael made during small group – “a palavra lava” (the word washes).

English translation

The wrong decision
Eternally exiled
Flames on the sword

The price owed
Is the price of a life
An immaculate life

Under the sword
The Trinity separated
Attacked by the serpent

The price was paid
By the sinless Son
Sacrificial Lamb

The death of death
Shows the victory
Of the King of history

The veil was torn
The enemy disarmed
The temple rebuilt

The Son raised
Restored to glory
First in the kingdom

All are invited
To be reconciled
In the family of the beloved

Waiting in hope
Kept in safety
Guaranteed by covenant

Fully redeemed
Eternally united
Created with the Creator

This poem started forming after some similarly lyrical teaching by our friend Gustavo when he paraphrased Tim Keller in saying “o preço devido é preço de vida” (the price owed is the price of a life) and I began feverishly and soapily writing while listening to the Sunday morning message and washing up.

I think the fact that I am a non-native speaker of Portuguese, and the necessity of me learning rather than acquiring the language has allowed me to assume the role of a visual and auditory observer.

I am delighted by rhyme and rhythm in language and wordplay (whether that’s seen or heard) and sometimes it seems that it stands out more clearly to me in Portuguese than in English.

Have you experienced something similar when looking at another language (or your own) from the outside in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

One thought on “Poems in Portuguese

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