adelia prado

The Brazilian Catholic poet, Adélia Prado is a recent discovery. From  an interview in BOMB:

Sometimes other poets and critics analyze my writing, and they’ve said how, even though the text is made of colloquial and everyday language, the work goes to transcendental issues. I don’t know, I don’t explain things; I simply do what I do. I only know how to write about concrete, immediate and commonplace things. But these commonplace things show me their metaphysical nature. I can only see the metaphysical, the divine, through the concrete and the human.

A Form of Speech and of Death

He had a way of pronouncing the word unshakeable.

The final “l” enundated in the Dutch way,

they who preached for us, catechism, mission, Sunday services.

“Unshakeable certainty”, “unshakeable faith”, “power unshakeable”

When he used this strong word, he did not utter it

with the mouth of one who eats perishable substances,

or names what he deems unworthy of his better speaking

because common things:

hammer, anvil, iron, the foreman, the Chief.


the tongue lingering at the base of the upper teeth,

the demanding doctrine requiring the purest sound,

in accordance with what it expressed, things of God,

eternal things, terrifying in the impossibility of their maculation.

But when this all too shakeable life stiffened his chin,

his paralysed and blackened tongue acquiesced,

its tip turned back to the root of the teeth,


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