The other day, in conversation, and a few other months before, this poem came into my mind. At the time it was quite on the spot about what I was feeling and thinking. Yet, there was a language barrier and I couldn’t find any suitable translations. So I wrote one.
Poem in straight line
by Fernando Pessoa as Álvaro de Campos.
I have never known anyone who ever had his ass kicked.
All my acquaintances have been champions in everything.
And me, so many times paltry, so many times filthy, so many times vile,
Me, an irreparable parasite,
Me, who sometimes has little patience to take A bath,
Me, who on several occasions have been ridiculous, Absurd,
I have tripped so many times on the rug of etiquette,
Who have been grotesque, petty, submissive and arrogant,
Who have been put down and stayed silent,
And in times, having spoken, became even more ridiculous;
Me, who has been funny to hotel maids,
Me, who has felt the winks of errand boys,
Me, who in financial shame borrowed and didn’t pay,
Me, who, at the throw of the punch, ducked
away from it’s possibility;
Me, who has sufferend the angst of little ridiculous things,
Me who sees no one equal to me in the world.
Everyone I know and who speaks with me
as never had a ridiculous act, never suffered shame,
Was never but a Prince — all of them, princes — in life…
I wish I could hear from someone a human voice
That would confess not a sin, but an infamy;
That would tell, not a violence but a cowardice!
No. They are all ideal, if I hear or they speak to me.
Who exists in this wide world that will confess to me having been vile?
Oh Princes, my brothers,
Argh, i’m tired of demigods !
Were are there people in this world?
Am I the only one vile and wrong in this earth?
Women may not have loved them,
They might have been betrayed — but ridiculous never!
And me, who have been ridiculous and enver betrayed,
How can I speak to my superiors without staggering ?
Me, who have been vile, literally vile,
Vile in the sense of pety and infamous in my vileness.