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Luís Vaz de Camões


Like the weary sailor, the refugee
from wreck and storm, who escapes half-dead,
and then, in terror, shudders with dread
at the very mention of the name of the ‘sea’;
who swears he’ll never sail again, who raves
he’ll stay at home, even on the calmest days,
but then, in time, forgets his fearful ways,
and seeks, again, his fortune above the waves;
I, too, have barely escaped the storms that revolve
around you, my love, traveling far away,
vowing to avoid another catastrophe,
but I can’t, the thought of you breaks my resolve,
and so, I return to where, on that fateful day,
I nearly drowned in your tempestuous sea. 

This poem is in the public domain.


Luís Vaz de Camões (1524 - 1580) was a Portuguese poet whose penchant for romance and derring-do puts him right up there with Errol Flynn. An only child born to an aristocratic family and blessed with good looks, charm, education, and incessant joie de vivre, Luiz lacked one thing: restraint. Banished from Lisbon as a young man for a variety of infractions, he lost an eye in one early skirmish and went on to endure a lifelong maelstrom of royal favor, royal wrath, duels, debt, shipwrecks, imprisonment, love affairs and international intrigue--writing poetry all the while. Ultimately, he returned to Lisbon, where his poetry so pleased the king that Luiz was awarded a royal pension for the remainder of his life.

Post New Comment:
Wow! Like moneal I thought this was a contemporary poet, both because of the style and the language. Amazing!
Posted 02/13/2011 08:32 PM
I thought that was a contemporary poet! Wow!
Posted 02/13/2011 10:06 AM
Pretty cool! Love how the metaphors shimmer just beneath the words!
Posted 02/13/2011 08:46 AM

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