When he left

Mr. Alexandre used to work here, from 1962 until he died in 2016.

From the street, looking through the window, it doesn’t look like this place is abandoned. He might come back. Someone might come back for their bespoke suit.

If you read Portuguese, please head to Blog dos Alfaiates, Mr. Alexandre’s story is there along with other stories about other masters of elegance.

Photo: Alexandre Alfaiate, Praça Coronel Pacheco, Porto

Natália

AUTORRETRATO

    

Espáduas brancas palpitantes:

asas no exílio dum corpo.

Os braços calhas cintilantes

para o comboio da alma.

E os olhos emigrantes

no navio da pálpebra

encalhado em renúncia ou cobardia.

Por vezes fêmea . Por vezes monja.

Conforme a noite. Conforme o dia.

Molusco. Esponja

embebida num filtro de magia.

Aranha de ouro

presa na teia dos seus ardis.

E aos pés um coração de louça

quebrado em jogos infantis.


Again I wish I could translate poetry without committing some kind of murder. I can’t.

This is the self-portrait of a bird in exile, whose arms know that they are wings trapped in a human body. Whose eyes migrate but never leave. A ship stranded by cowardice and abjuration. A Woman. Sometimes a female, sometimes a nun.

From night to day.

Strong, fragile, beautiful, talented and contradictory. They said. Very dark and very tender. A force of nature is the appropriate cliché. Unjust for someone who lived like a true original. In full. Strident in controversy, provocative and original, strong, excessive and forceful.  Witch and Lark of the abolition of opposites.

My words could never come close

a heart of china

broken in childish games

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Era uma mulher inigualável. Nos caprichos, nos excessos, nas iras, nas premonições, nos exibicionismos, na sedução, na coragem, na esperança. Cantava, dançava, declamava, improvisava, discursava, polemizava como poucos entre nós alguma vez o fizeram, o somaram.

Fernando Dacosta

She was an unrivaled woman. In whims, in excesses, in anger, in premonitions, in exhibitionism, in seduction, in courage, in hope. She sang, danced, recited, improvised, discoursed, polemicized as few among us ever did and ever added.

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Acho que a missão da mulher é assombrar, espantar. Se a mulher não espanta… De resto, não é só a mulher, todos os seres humanos têm que deslumbrar os seus semelhantes para serem um acontecimento. Temos que ser um acontecimento uns para os outros. Então a pessoa tem que fazer o possível para deslumbrar o seu semelhante, para que a vida seja um motivo de deslumbramento. Se chama a isso sedução, cumpri aquilo que me era forçoso fazer.

Natália Correia, in Entrevista (1983)

I think a woman’s mission is to haunt, to amaze. If a woman does not amaze … Besides, it is not only the woman, all human beings have to dazzle their peers, they have to be an event. We have to be a momentous event for each other. So one has to do one’s best to dazzle one’s fellow human, so that life can be a cause of wonder. If this is called seduction, I accomplished what I had to.

References

NATÁLIA CORREIA – 10 anos depois

One too many

Eyes blinded by the fog of things

cannot see truth.

Ears deafened by the din of things

cannot hear truth.

Brains bewildered by the whirl of things

cannot think truth.

Hearts deadened by the weight of things

cannot feel truth.

Throats choked by the dust of things

cannot speak truth.

Harold Bell Wright, The Uncrowned King

And yet, there is no amount of self help books, “keep it simple” formulas or declutter instructions that will tame the maximalist in me.  

A euphemism for self-indulgence most probably.