Carlos Drummond de Andrade

The Wander's Illusion - Poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade

When I came from my land
if I really came from my land
(am I not dead there?),
the rippling of the river
murmured faintly to me
that I sould remain
there where she parted from me.

The pale dead
not vanishing in the afternoon
they seemed to tell me
that it was impossible to return
because everything is the result
of already having been born there.

When I came, if I really came
from somewhere going to somewhere else
the world turned, alien
to my small self
and in its turning I realized
that no one ever goes away
or comes back from anywhere.

That we carry things along with us
the treasure box of our life
a rigid frame of bronze
around our most anonymous cell
and a call, a laugh, a voice
resounds incessantly
inside our depeest walls.

New things which happen,
whet our hunger for basic food.
Our discoveries are masks
over an even darker reality,
that wound we bear
on the skin of our souls.

When I came from my land,
I didn't come - I got lost in space
in the illusion of having left.
Poor me, I never left
I'm still there, buried
beneath the gentle words
beneath the black shadows
beneath the golden ornaments
beneath the generations
beneath my own self. I know,
this living being, deceived
and deceitful.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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