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By Maria Goncalves February 25, 2019

There Was

Illustrations by Danial Parvizi (top) and Mia Yu (bottom) 

This piece was written in Portuguese before it was translated into English. It's important to understand that the intention of this poem is to show how things can be lost in translation because verbs, nouns, and adjectives not always will mean the same in different languages. The beauty of this work is that it doesn't make any sense, yet, it does speak to the person who can identify the nuances of the language, the rhythm in which it is recited, and the craziness of our unconscious.


And there was a vase,

And there was a hole

A straight line between her and me

A curved line between my corpse and my mind

Didn’t look at the floor because there were no eyes

Didn’t look at the ceiling because there was no ceiling

There were empty colours

Twisted porcelain

Liquids and juices spilled

There was a little bit of dirt and dust

Of carrion and bread

I heard screams but there was no scream

There were open mouths but no sound

I heard steps on the top of my head

And felt the vibration of somebody’s mind

There were plants outside the tire

There was sky underneath the earth

I saw everything and saw nothing

There was everything

But valued nothing

It was cold but it was sunny

It rained

But it was confetti

It was pink, blue, spiral

Black, eyes, mouth, and noises of waves hitting the coast

It was real and it was a lie

Times it was, times it didn’t exist

Went back to the vase that had a hole

And the line between her and me now was curved



Original Version


E tinha um vaso,

E tinha um buraco

Uma linha reta entre eu e ela

Uma linha curva entre meu corpo e minha mente

Não olhava para o chão por que nao tinha olhos

Nem olhava para o teto por que nao tinha teto

Tinha cores vazias

Porcelana amassada

Liquidos e sucos jorrados

Tinha um pouco de sujeira e de poeira

De carnica e de pao

Eu ouvia o grito mas não tinha grito

Tinha gente de boca aberta mas nao tinha som

Eu sentia os passos no topo da minha cabeça

E sentia a vibração da cabeça de alguém

Tinha planta fora do pneu

Tinha céu embaixo da terra

Eu via tudo e não via nada

Tinha de tudo

Mas valia de nada

Fazia frio mas tava sol

Fazia chuva

Mas era de confeti

Tinha rosa, azul e espiral

Tinha preto, olhos, boca e barulho de onda batendo na costa

Era real e era mentira

Ora tava e ora nao existia

Voltei ao vaso que tinha um buraco,

E a linha entre eu e ela agora era curva

E a curva entre eu e meu corpo era nuvem de inverno

About the illustrator

Danial Parvizi and Mia Yu are first year Illustration students.


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