Murilo Mendes

Murilo Mendes Poems


Foolish virtein
Why don´t you buy oil for your lamp?

Your eyes will judged
With much less clemency
That the rest of your body.
Your eyes have lingered too much

Who am I anyway?

I am the portrait of an ancestor.
I am that nightgown I wore

The woman from the world´s end
Gives food to the rose trees,
Gives water to the statues,
Gives dreams to the poets.

Not only will I blame
My parents and grandparents:
I will also sue the initial egg.
Everything is at fault.

I do not find consolation in churches.
You, monk, cannot tell me what Christ will say.
You have gathered the least part of Him…
And His body and His blood

I feel I am a fragment of God
As I am a remnant of a root,
A little of the water of the seas,
The stray arm of a constellation>

The Spirit of Poetry transports me
To the shapeless region where I spend long hours, motionless
In the silence before the Creation of thing, terrifying.
Suddenly I extend my right arm into space and everything incarnates.

I will die detesting the evil I have done
And without the force to do good.
I love the guilty as well as the innocent.
O Magdalen, you who have triumphed over the power of flesh,

A woman on the verandah
Leans over the sea
Contemplates the twin sea gulls
Expects a love letter.

The opposite always arrives:
Everything that one has not asked for.

The invisible insists:

Heads or tails?
God or the devil?
Love or desertion?
Activity or solitude?

I wanted to kindle the spirit of life,
I wanted to recast my own mold,
I wanted to know the truth of things, of the elements;
I rebelled against God,


Horses gallop over the vast plain.
Going where?
Going to look for the head of the Dauphin that is rolling
down the stairs.

Murilo Mendes Biography

Murilo Monteiro Mendes (May 13, 1901 — August 13, 1975) was a Brazilian Modernist poet, considered to be one of the forerunners of the Surrealist movement in Brazil. Mendes was born in Juiz de Fora, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, on May 13, 1901. He subsequently moved to Niterói in order to finish his high school, and settled in Rio de Janeiro afterwards. Mendes alleges that two happenings of his life inspired him to become a poet: the sighting of Halley's Comet in 1910, and a performance of Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky he attended in 1917. Between 1924 and 1929, Mendes published his first poems in the Modernist magazines Antropofagia and Verde. His first poetry book, simply called Poemas, was published in 1930; it won the Graça Aranha Prize. His second poetry book, Bumba-Meu-Poeta, was released shortly afterwards, and in 1933, Mendes published História do Brasil. Since the 1920s Mendes was very close friends with Modernist painter Ismael Nery; Nery painted a portrait of Mendes in 1922, and also influenced him to convert himself to Roman Catholicism (Mendes was previously an Atheist). Nery died in 1934, leaving Mendes confused and saddened; this, along with his newly found faith, influenced the writing process of his book Tempo e Eternidade, written in conjunction with Jorge de Lima and published in 1935. Until 1935 he worked as a telegrapher and as a bookkeeper. In 1936 he became a school inspector, and in 1946 he became a scrivener. In 1947 he married Maria da Saudade Cortesão, but they would not have any children. From 1953 onwards Mendes would travel around Europe, settling in Italy in 1957, where he became a teacher of Brazilian literature in the Sapienza University of Rome, and later in the University of Pisa. Around this time, Mendes' works started to be translated and published in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Having moved to Portugal, Mendes received the Prémio Internacional de Poesia Etna-Taormina in 1972, and after a short visit to Brazil, he returned to Europe and published his last book, Retratos-Relâmpago, in 1973. Two years later, in 1975, Mendes died in Lisbon.)

The Best Poem Of Murilo Mendes


Foolish virtein
Why don´t you buy oil for your lamp?
Why do you think only of immediate and finite things?
One day the Bridegroom will come,
He will give a great cry and it will be late.
You were dealing with your tractors,
You were busy only with the production of you collective farms,
And you did not notice that the Bridegroo9m was coming:
He shut Himself up in the red room with your sisters.

Sweep your houses, your parks, of culture.
Send up in space your planes, light your reflectors,
Call your neighbors because you have found the lost ruble,
The Eternal Word that nourished you without your knowing it.
You have already scattered your goods
To seek what has existed in you since the beginning.
Return to your Father´s house, where there are many mansions.
Return to the communion of the sons of God,
O prodigal, O generous.

You will hear the great symphony of the organs, of the bells,
Mixed with the whistles of the sirens of ships and of factories,
O sister gone astray.

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