Henriqueta Lisboa: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Henriqueta Lisboa Brazilian Poet


Henriqueta Lisboa (1901–1985) was a Brazilian writer. She was awarded the Prêmio Machado de Assis for her lifetime achievement by the Brazilian Academy of Letters. She is famous for her well-chosen words to create powerful poems. Her early lyrics deal with traditional poetic themes, while her later poems like Echo, she mysteriously magnifies the effect of a single image.


A salt stone
becomes part of the ocean — very little! —

The soul remained lighter
than the body.

The music, far beyond
the instrument.

Of the lever,
its reason of being: the impetus.

Only the seal remains, the finishing
of the work.

The light which survives the star
and is its crown.

The wonderful. The immortal.

What I lost was so little.
But it was what I loved best.

On The Blind Man

For me the saddest event
is not to see in your eyes
this veil of mist
which hides the performance from you
But your ineptitude, the ineptitude
with which you neglect the display.


Even now and always
the complaisant love.

In profile from the front
with life everlasting.

And if more absent
at every moment

so much more present
as time goes by

to the soul that allows
in the greatest silence

to keep it inside
the burning dimness

without forgetfulness
never forever


Translated by Hélcio Veiga Costa