The epic poetry of Luis Vaz de Camões
Festivities of Sanjoaninas to light up Angra do Heroísmo in the Azores

The Poet of the Explorers


Luis Vaz de Camões is renown for his 10 Canto poem about the great explorer Vasco da Gama and his voyage to India. Da Gama just happens to be the poet's cousin. The poet's empty tomb lies near da Gama's at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon. What many non-Portuguese speakers don't know is that Luis Vaz de Camões also wrote love sonnets--pure, purely human, and piercing. Here's just one example:


Soul of mine, gentle, that has departed,

So early from this life, discontented,

You repose there into the sky for eternity

And I live here on earth forever sad


If there, in the eternal place to which you rose,

Memory of this life is allowed,

Never forget that ardent love

Which in my eyes you so purely saw


And if you see that it should be deserving of you

Some bit of the pain with which I was left

Of the wound without remedy of losing you


Pray to God, who cut your years

That so early He may take me to see you

As early as from my eyes he took you.


                        Luís de Camões




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