No one, besides a law school student or someone who once went to law school, understands the terrible feeling of impending doom that happens every semester around the time of final exams.

While taking a study break last week, I rediscovered a book of poetry by Joao Carlos Pecci titled “Existence” that I bought at a hole-in-the-wall, used books bookstore (my favorite kind!) in Brazil in December. It spoke to me in so many ways. First, because it painted this beautiful picture of a sleepy afternoon by the ocean, in a little town that reminds me so much of where I am from. I immediately wanted to jump inside this poem and enjoy that day by the water. But then, when I got to the end of the poem, I realized that I was indeed there, in the poem- as the jealous student, stuck with a book in the corner, watching everyone else have a lovely afternoon off by the sea.

I translated the poem for fun (yeah, a true testament of how much this time of the year sucks- translating for fun? Almost as bad as cleaning my apartment as a fun study break). Either way, I’m counting down the days until I’m no longer student, but happy fisherwoman (?) Or, for the sake of accuracy, let’s just say happy lounger.

Without further ado, Pecci’s Poetry:

The ground of dirt, a guitar, the ocean in the front

A distant look into the mystery of life

In the wood stove, a fresh caught fish

The clay pot, the wooden spoon

Through the curtain-less window,

the sky in full view

The bed of love still unmade…

And the systematic music of the breeze!

The pride of being naked.

A boat asleep on the sand,

A bird on the trail of the sun.

Slow white wing flying around the bird.

The fishing net hung,

And the oil lamp anxious to illuminate.

The turtle accustomed in its same ways,

The garden in the shadow of the hose.

In the hot patio, a bronzed body in the hammock…

And the free chords of a musical guitar awaits the leave off to sea.

In the distance, the jealous glance of the student

Who wished he could be a fisherman.

– Joao Carlos Pecci


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