A Flor e a Náusea // The Flower and the Nausea

Imprisoned by my class and my clothes
I go in white through the gray street
melancholy men, shopkeepers peer at me.
Should I continue until I sicken?
Can I, unarmed, be revolted?
Dirty eyes on the clock tower:
No, the time has not come for full justice
It is still the time of excrement, bad poems, hallucinations and hope
The poor time, the poor poet
Stuck in the same impasse
[In vain I try to explain myself, the walls are deaf]
Under the skin of words there are ciphers and codes
The sun consoles the sick and does not renew them
The things. How sad are things, considered out of context
They’ll vomit this tedium across the city
[Forty years and not a single problem
resolved, not even close]
Not a single letter written nor received.
All the men return home
They are less free but they carry newspapers
and decipher the world, knowing that they’ve lost it.
Crimes of the earth, how does it forgive them?
I took part in many, from others I hid
Some I thought were beautiful, they were published
Gentle crimes, that helped me live
The daily ration of error, distributed at home
The feral bakers of evil
The feral milkmen of evil
Set it all aflame, including myself
To the boy of 1918 they called an anarchist
[However, my hate is better than me
With it I save myself
and give at least a little faint hope]
[A flower rose from the street!
Far away they pass by, trams, buses, rivers of steel traffic
A flower, though faded
Evades the police, breaks the asphalt
Be completely silent, stop your business
I assure you that a flower rose
Its color is unnoticed
Its petals don’t open
Its name is not in the books
It is ugly. But it is truly a flower
[I sit on the ground in the country’s capital at five in the afternoon and lightly pass my hand over this frail thing.]
Beside the mountains, dense clouds swell
Little white points dance on the surface of the sea, startled chickens
[It is ugly. But it is a flower. It pierced the asphalt, the boredom, the disgust and the hate]

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

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