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Syndic Literary Journal

Grammatical Exercise

Written by Nuno Judice

Translated from the Portuguese by Ana Hudson

Narrated by Bill Wolak


You, the one

the winds travel

with the lips

of horizons,

and is covered by a strange cloud

with the bitter sheet 

of dawn: give me 

your hands, now 

that your name lingers

in all the ears of the earth;

or run through that subterraneous

river which flows into 

the depths

of mirrors, from where

no voice is calling you.

You, the most

abstract of pronouns,

dressed in the deaf

fire of the last vowel, as

if a shadow of silences

were dancing among

murmurs and memories: don’t

leave at sunrise,

a vague wishing dream,

or the ephemeral light


which I looked at you.

Stay in the ink of my fingers,

in the remains of a line, faceless

secret; or take me with you,

clean from reflexes and pronouns,

while the rustle of a water fountain 

teaches me how to find you.


Nuno Júdice is a poet and fiction writer, born in 1949, who published his first poetry book in 1972. He graduated in Romance Philology from the University of Lisbon and obtained the degree of Doctor from the New University of Lisbon (Universidade Nova), where he was professor until 2015. He received Spain’s Queen Sofia Ibero-American Poetry Prize in 2013, awarded by the Spanish National Heritage and the University of Salamanca. In 1996, he released the poetry magazine Tabacaria, edited by “Casa Fernando Pessoa” until 1998. In 1997, he was appointed Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of Portugal and Director of the Camões Institute in Paris. In 2009, he assumed the direction of Colóquio/Letras, the literary magazine of the Gulbenkian Foundation. 
Ana Hudsonhas a BA in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Universidade Nova in Lisbon and a MA in Portuguese Studies/History Path from King’s College London. She is responsible for “Poems from the Portuguese” (, the most comprehensive anthology of 21st century Portuguese poetry online (and offline), which she has set up and devised. She lives in England.




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