Insomnia in Fernando Pessoa


Last night I had not the blessing

Of a deep or a quiet slumber,

For thoughts most wild and distressing

Every woe and fear expressing

My drowsy sense did encumber.

And the clock, with its curst possession

Of night with its monotone,

Is a madman mad with a word-obsession,

Sorrowfully lone.

A thousand times a reeling

Of reason around my world,

And around reason feeling

The very darkness wheeling

In a blacker darkness hurled.

And the clock! Ah, its curst possession

Of night with its monotone!

How it treasured well its word-obsession

Dolorously lone!

If I slept awhile, without number

Came the dreams, and I had not the grace

Of the shade of a shadow of slumber.

I fell in descent from reason steep,

In consciousness pale disgrace;

There was a fall half-senseless and deep

And I woke with a start from sleep

For I struck the bottom of space.

And I woke to the clocks’s possession

Of night with its monotone,

Chuckling a meaning past its obsession,

Maniacally lone.


Alexander Search