Bruges Library exhibits students' favorite poems

A special exhibition is held in the library of our College of Europe Bruges campus this week, in the framework of the Poetry Week (28 January-3 February 2021). The students of the Mário Soares Promotion were warmly invited to send their favorite poems to the Bruges Library team and a selection is now on display in the library of Dijver.  Thanks to the participation of our enthusiastic students, our library is brightened up by lovely poems by Charles Baudelaire, Odysseus Elytis, Konstantinos Kaváfis, Erich Fried, Peter Verhelst and, last but not least, Guido Gezelle.  This year's theme to celebrate poetry in Flanders and the Netherlands was "Together" and the Bruges Library selected the poem "Mar Português" of the famous Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) to support this lovely initiative. Below you can find the original Portuguese version of the poem and an English translation of Pessoa's creation.   Mar Português 

Ó mar salgado, quanto do teu sal

São lágrimas de Portugal!

Por te cruzarmos, quantas mães choraram,

Quantos filhos em vão rezaram!


Quantas noivas ficaram por casar

Para que fosses nosso, ó mar!

Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena

Se a alma não é pequena.


Quem quere passar além do Bojador

Tem que passar além da dor.

Deus ao mar o perigo e o abismo deu,

Mas nele é que espelhou o céu.


Portuguese Sea

O bitter sea, how much of all your gall

Is bitter tears of Portugal!

That we crossed you, how many mothers wept, 

How many sons vain vigil kept! 

How many maids betrothed remained unwed 

That you, sea, might be ours instead!


Was it worth while? Anything is, if

A soul of man is great enough.

He who would round the Cape must not give up

But in its Storms see his Good Hope.

Danger and depth God to the sea has given

But in it he has mirrored heaven.

 (Translation in "A centary Pessoa", edited by Eugénio Lisboa en L.C Taylor)