untitled poem 8 by Fernando Pessoa

If sometimes I say that flowers smile
And if I should say that rivers sing,
It’s not because I think there are smiles in flowers
And songs in the rivers’ flowing. . .
It’s so I can help misguided men
Feel the truly real existence of flowers and rivers.

Since I write for them to read me, I sometimes stoop
To the stupidity of their senses. . .
It isn’t right, but I excuse myself,
Because I’ve only taken on the odious role, an interpreter of Nature,
Because there are men who don’t grasp its language,
Which is no language at all.

translated by Richard Zenith

untitled poem 6 by Fernando Pessoa

Now that I feel love,
I’m interested in fragrances.
It never used to interest me that flowers have smell.
Now I feel their fragrance as if I were seeing something new.
I know they smelled before, even as I know I existed.
These are things we know outwardly.
But now I know with the breathing at the back of my head.
Now flowers have a delicious taste I can smell.
Now I sometimes wake up and smell before I see.

translated by Richard Zenith