Soms, net soms lees mens ‘n paragraaf of ‘n gedig wat so tot jou spreek dat jy dit altyd sal onthou. ‘n Beeldskone vers of sin wat ‘n sielsgesprek met jouself aan die gang sit wat sal voortduur solank jy leef. Partykeer ruk dit die mat onder jou uit, partykeer skud dit jou fondamente tot jy snikkend jou oë toeknyp en jou hande oor jou ore druk om dit nie te hoor nie, maar, soos met alle skoonheid, volg dit jou na.

Ek het op ‘n gedig afgekom wat my so hartseer gelaat het dat ek weer en weer daarna moes terugkeer. Dis hartverskeurend mooi en dis geskryf deur die Portugese digter en filosoof Fernando Pessoa. Hier volg ‘n uittreksel uit sy gedig The Tobacco Shop.


I am nothing.

I’ll always be nothing.

I can’t want to be something.

But I have in me all the dreams of the world.


Today I’m bewildered, like a man

who wondered and discovered and forgot

Today I’m torn between the loyalty I owe to the outward reality of the Tobacco Shop across the street

and to the inward reality of my feeling that everything’s a dream…….


perhaps you’ve merely existed, as when a lizard

has its tail cut off and the tail keeps on twitching, without the lizard

or made of myself what I was no good at making,

and what I could have made of myself I didn’t.

I put on the wrong costume

and was immediately taken for someone I wasn’t, and I said nothing and was lost.

When I went to take off the mask,

it was stuck to my face.

when I got it off and saw myself in the mirror,

I had already gown old.

I was drunk and no longer knew

how to wear the costume that I hadn’t taken off.

I threw out the mask and slept in the closet

like a dog tolerated by the management

because it is harmless,

and I’ll write down this story to prove I’m sublime.

Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese Poet/Philosopher)



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