Symbols? I’m sick of symbols…
Some people tell me that everything is symbols.
They’re telling me nothing.
What symbols? Dreams…
Let the sun be a symbol, fine…
Let the moon be a symbol, fine…
Let the earth be a symbol, fine…
But who notices the sun except when the rain stops
And it breaks through the clouds and points behind its back
To the blue of the sky?
And who notices the moon except to admire
Not it but the beautiful light it radiates?
And who notices the very earth we tread?
We say earth and think of fields, trees and hills,
Unwittingly diminishing it,
For the sea is also earth.
Okay, let all of this be symbols.
But what’s the symbol – not the sun, not the moon, not the earth –
In this premature sunset amidst the fading blue
With the sun caught in expiring tatters of clouds
And the moon already mystically present at the other end of the sky
As the last remnant of daylight
Gilds the head of the seamstress who hesitates at the corner
Where she used to linger (she lives nearby) with the boyfriend who left her?
Symbols? I don’t want symbols.
All I want – poor frail and forlorn creature! –
Is for the boyfriend to go back to the seamstress.
— Fernando Pessoa, as Alvaro de Campos