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‘I sleep. If I dream, I do not know on waking’

I sleep. If I dream, I do not know on waking

What it was I dreamt.

I sleep. If I do not dream, I waken

In an open space

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I do not recognize, because I woke

To what I still don’t know.

What’s best is neither dreaming nor not dreaming

And never waking.

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From “Poems of Fernando Pessoa,” translated from the Portuguese and edited by Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown (City Lights: 246 pp., $15.95 paper)


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