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Quasi Sonnet

Paulo Henriques Britto

Reading from Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus festival, 2012. Reading in Portuguese.

Translated from the Portuguese by Idra Novey:
Quasi Sonnet

There is nothing that leads to nothing.
Even to sit in a room, quiet and nude
as Blaise Pascal, will have some effect
on Tanzania maybe, or on New Guinea,
just as the beating wings of a lepidopter –
according to the proverb about butterflies in Peru –
could incite a tidal wave in Shanghai,
or knock down an Iraqi helicopter.
And so we become ourselves, hypocrite lecteur,
at the very least accomplices, you and I.

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