Portrait • Cecília Meireles

I had not this face of today,

That calm, that sad, that slim,

Neither these void eyes,

Nor the bitter lip.

I had not these hands lacking strength,

So still and cold and lifeless;

I had not this heart

That does not come to light.

I had not grasped this change,

So simple, so right, so soft:

– In what mirror have I lost my face?


Translated by Mar Lima from the Portuguese – “Retrato” by Cecília Meireles.

Cover image: Arquivo Nacional do Brasil via Flickr.

Read also her poem “Motive”