Portugal

Fernando Pessoa (Álvaro de Campos)
1928

Adiamento

Depois de amanhã, sim, só depois de amanhã…
Levarei amanhã a pensar em depois de amanhã,
E assim será possível; mas hoje não…
Não, hoje nada; hoje não posso.
A persistência confusa da minha subjectividade objectiva,
O sono da minha vida real, intercalado,
O cansaço antecipado e infinito,
Um cansaço de mundos para apanhar um eléctrico…
Esta espécie de alma…
Só depois de amanhã…
Hoje quero preparar-me,
Quero preparar-me para pensar amanhã no dia seguinte…
Ele é que é decisivo.
Tenho já o plano traçado; mas não, hoje não traço planos…
Amanhã é o dia dos planos.
Amanhã sentar-me-ei à secretária para conquistar o mundo;
Mas só conquistarei o mundo depois de amanhã…
Tenho vontade de chorar,
Tenho vontade de chorar muito de repente, de dentro…
Não, não queiram saber mais nada, é segredo, não digo.
Só depois de amanhã…
Quando era criança o circo de domingo divertia-me toda a semana.
Hoje só me diverte o circo de domingo de toda a semana da minha infância…
Depois de amanhã serei outro,
A minha vida triunfar-se-á,
Todas as minhas qualidades reais de inteligente, lido e prático
Serão convocadas por um edital…
Mas por um edital de amanhã…
Hoje quero dormir, redigirei amanhã…
Por hoje qual é o espectáculo que me repetiria a infância?
Mesmo para eu comprar os bilhetes amanhã,
Que depois de amanhã é que está bem o espectáculo…
Antes, não…
Depois de amanhã terei a pose pública que amanhã estudarei.
Depois de amanhã serei finalmente o que hoje não posso nunca ser.
Só depois de amanhã…
Tenho sono como o frio de um cão vadio.
Tenho muito sono.
Amanhã te direi as palavras, ou depois de amanhã…
Sim, talvez só depois de amanhã…

O porvir…
Sim, o porvir…

Adjournment

The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow…
Tomorrow I’ll spend the day thinking about the day after tomorrow,
And only so will it be possible, but not today…
No, not today, nothing; today, I can’t.
The confusing persistence of my objective subjectivity,
The sleep of my real life, interrupted,
The anticipated and infinite fatigue,
The world-weary fatigue of even riding a trolley…
This alleged soul…
Only the day after tomorrow…
Today I want to prepare,
I want to prepare for thinking tomorrow about the next day…
That day alone will be decisive.
I already have a plan laid out, but not today, I’m not making any plans…
Tomorrow is the time to plan.
Tomorrow I’ll sit down at my desk and conquer the world,
But I’ll only conquer the world the day after tomorrow…
I feel like crying,
Suddenly I feel like crying, from the inside…
You don’t want to know more, you don’t, it’s a secret, I won’t say.
Only the day after tomorrow…
When I was a kid the Sunday circus amused me every week.
Today I’m only amused by the Sunday circus of my childhood’s weeks…
The day after tomorrow I’ll become someone else,
My life will triumph,
All my real qualities—bright, well-read, and practical—
Will be summoned by decree…
But only by tomorrow’s decree…
Today I want to sleep, I’ll write tomorrow…
What performance, today, would revivify my childhood?
I would only buy the tickets tomorrow,
For the performance must be done only the day after tomorrow…
Not before…
The day after tomorrow I’ll have a public stance that tomorrow I’ll rehearse.
The day after tomorrow I’ll finally become what today I couldn’t ever be.
Only the day after tomorrow…
I’m sleepy as a stray dog’s chill.
I’m quite sleepy.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you every word, or the day after tomorrow…
Yes, perhaps only the day after tomorrow…

The future…
Yes, the future…


Fernando Pessoa (1888-1936) was a Portuguese author, best known as the creator of heteronyms—fictional authors with styles, literary traditions, biographies, and even handwritings of their own. According to Pessoa himself, out of the 136 fictional characters that he created throughout his lifetime, three stand out as the most well-rounded heteronyms: Alberto Caeiro, which he considered the master of them all (even of Pessoa the ortonym—i.e. Pessoa as himself); Ricardo Reis, the heir of the more classic traditions; and the author of this poem, Álvaro de Campos, known for his decadent, polemical, and futuristic styles. Although Pessoa left an archive with over 30,000 manuscripts, he published only a handful of works during his lifetime. Still to date, most of his writings remain unpublished and untranslated, let alone transcribed. According to the biography established by Pessoa, Campos was born in 1890, at 1:30 p.m., and in the fictional world of characters, he would gain notoriety by denouncing Fernando Pessoa’s very existence.


“Adiamento” raises some of the main themes in Pessoan literature: the relativity of time, postponement, and the tension between thought and action. The poem stands as a defense of inaction and opens the possibility of plurality by validating the reality of thought (as opposed to the reality of the external world). It also evinces the fragility of language and the malleability of concepts: will actions be forever postponed given that once tomorrow comes, today’s “tomorrow” will be tomorrow’s “today”? This question is representative of Pessoa’s work overall, and it manifests his long-lasting fascination with paradox. One of the most important goals of this translation was keeping the morphological and etymological implications of the title, especially the fact that the original Portuguese word, “Adiamento”, inscribes the word “day” (“dia”), yet at the same time the whole concept implies a denial of days and time. The word “Adjournment”, with its French root—jour—, fulfills both aspects and maintains the contradiction of an overall concept that postpones (and ultimately erases) its main root.

Pessoa, Fernando. “Adiamento.” Revista da Solução Editora, n.º 1. Lisbon. 1929. 4-5. Print.

Prepared by Nicolás Barbosa López

1
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Leonora Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Leonora
Guest
Leonora

Procrastination has an alternate rhythm, in which thoughts continuously overlap and separate. The musicality of this poem reminds me of the sounds of sea and waves. Does the word Adiamento suggest music? In Portuguese, can you say that a song has an adiamento? As to say, a rhythm?