Some people may know, and some people may not, but I’m full blown Portuguese. Pure bred, no ancestry anywhere else, my hair and eyes are raven-black and my skin is multi-colour.
That being said, it is natural that my poetry is heavily influenced by the Pantheon of Portuguese Poets, a very important group of figures in general portuguese culture, and with that, comes a certain stiffness very much our own. Portuguese people are known for their subtle and muffled speech, without melody or variations, and our culture deep-rooted in sadness and an overall sense of abandonment.
From that, many common feelings have bloomed in poets like Fernando Pessoa, Cesário Verde, Eugénio de Andrade, Florbela Espanca, Natália Correia, Sá-Carneiro, and many others, installing within their compositions a general sense of chaotic order. Although contradictory, it works well in our favour. Our poetics are strict, direct, respectful of the general laws of lyricism and composition and deep-rooted in the headwaters of emotion.
I would sooner stake my heart than compare myself to the Great Pantheon, but of course, like most aspiring portuguese poets, I have troubles discerning my style from these greats that came before, especially when they are regarded as the paragon of lyric and structured poetry. My education, however, was very english-based and anglocentric, exposing me to the vast beyond of chaotic chaos often present in many current and old English forms of poetry.
WordPress is a vast source for many of those poems – which I’m all for – and the contact I’ve had here with them gave me a lot of grasp about my vision of poetry, both future and past. As an attempt to clarify what I mean with chaotic order and chaotic chaos, I will use two examples:
The wind, into my wounds it bled,
In a striking weep of distilled pain
Through cobalt tears destiny has shed,
In a luck of the draw without gain.
This stanza from my own “Phagora” is a good example of the above mentioned chaotic order. It respects the common rules of crossed rhyming, lyrical consistency and syllabic composure, however, it is incredibly chaotic on what it attempts to display. This stanza was a far out allegory to say “pain of longing is a game of chance unending”, which would be equally lyrical if placed in the right setting.
But what of the river nymphs
with flowing hair of company,
that springing love
doesn’t die with age
rather splashing into your eyes of prism
candour, my adored, I’m fiery demon
turning to steam the river within you
This improvised poem (not meant to be taken seriously), was composed without poetic structure in mind, but has a flowing divinity within it’s content. It’s followable, understandable, and retains some lyricism among it’s chaotic chaos. Unfortunately for me, I’m not gifted at writing well using free verse or zero-stanza formats, again, mostly because of my cultural origins and natural language.
I would like to, however, throw a challenge to anyone out there that would like to absorb poetics with me, to write in full structure like my first example. May you do so, I will attempt to use your poem as base for a more english “free verse” poem, and you would have my thanks.