José Saramago / The Work / Bibliography

Probably Joy

Probably Joy
1970

I had no illusions, my poetry is what it is, clean, honest and at some point it will have been something more than that, but anyway, I won't go down in history as a poet. I suppose if it goes down in history it will be like a novelist who also wrote some verses

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Portugal

Probably Joy

2014 (1st edition at Porto Editora; 7th edition)


Language
Portuguese

The calligraphy on the cover is by the writer Nuno Júdice

Saramago's second poetic onslaught comes four years after Os Poemas Possíveis. They are poems of shadow and light, intertwined, of an elaboration made through their own reverse, simultaneously of sea and darkness. «Slowly, I go down among corals. / I open, I dissolve the body: my fountains / Of white waters, secret, gathered / In the dew of hidden roses.»

Innovative poems at the time, marked by love said-written in brief, imprecise transparencies, and a certain bitterness-sadness very Portuguese, in their clearly lyrical roots. Passion seems to overcome militancy: «White is your chest, or under your golden skin? / And the sharp crystals, or crimped roses / How light are signs in the fortune of the breast? / What soft strawberries, what an unconforming thirst, / What vertigo on the towering dunes / When the wind of blood bends the waters / And in whiteness we sail, dead of gold.» And eroticism makes its decisive appearance in verse: «Your body of land and water / Where the keel of my boat / Where the ploughshare / They open routes and a path.»

Diário de Notícias, October 9, 1998