Friday, June 24, 2016

Poem of the Week 6.23.16: I Got Off the Train

I Got Off the Train

I got off the train
And said goodbye to the man I'd met.
We'd been together for eighteen hours
And had a pleasant conversation,
Fellowship in the journey,
And I was sorry to get off, sorry to leave
This chance friend whose name I never learned.
I felt my eyes water with tears...
Every farewell is a death.
Yes, every farewell is a death.
In the train that we call life
We are all chance events in one another's lives,
And we all feel sorry when it's time to get off.

All that is human moves me, because I'm a man.
All that is human moves me, not because I have an affinity
With human ideas or human doctrine
But because of my infinite fellowship with humanity itself.

The maid who hated to go,
Crying with nostalgia
For the house where she'd been mistreated...

All of this, inside my heart, is death and the world's sadness.
All of this lives, because it dies, in my heart.

And my heart is a little larger than the entire universe.

Alvaro De Campos
aka Fernando Pessoa
Translated by Richard Zenith