Skull ~ Cruz e Souza

The Endless Summer ~ Benjamin Girard

The leading figure of the Symbolist movement in Brazil, Cruz e Sousa was the son of freed slaves. His poetry weds the technical principles of French Symbolism to themes drawn from his social concerns and his own personal suffering. This poem describes a skull, emphasizing that we are all the same, and the death takes us all, either white or black.

Skull ~ Cruz e Souza

“Eu vou roer até o osso o corpo da tua palavra”
~ Zé Rodrix in Compota de Cereja

Eyes which were eyes, two holes
Neither green nor blue, cold and dull…
Two dark eyeholes in a deep stroll

Nose of delicate feature, insolent,
Shaped not to be lenient but cruel.
What’s been done of the sweet scent?
Skull! Skull!!

Mouth of white teeth and lips
Kindly rounded and almost wailful.
Where the smile, the laugh, the quips?
Skull! Skull!! Skull!!!

Olhos que foram olhos, dois buracos
Agora, fundos, no ondular da poeira…
Nem negros, nem azuis e nem opacos
Nariz de linhas, correções audazes,
De expressão aquilina e feiticeira,
Onde os olfatos virginais, falazes?!
Caveira! Caveira!!
Boca de dentes límpidos e finos,
De curva leve, original, ligeira,
Que é feito dos teus risos cristalinos!?
Caveira! Caveira!! Caveira!!!

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