Eli gave us a poem in Portuguese by Manoel de Barros.
We translated it into English with the help of Google.
The Boy Who Carried Water in a Sieve
I have a book about waters and boys.
I like best the boy
who carried water in a sieve.
His mother told him that carrying water in a sieve
Was to rob the wind and
run show it to his brothers.
His mother said it was the same as
to pick thorns from the water.
The same as to breed fish in the pocket.
The boy liked oddities.
He tried to set the foundation of a house upon dew.
His mother noticed the boy
liked emptiness more
He said that emptinesses were bigger
and some were infinities.
In time the boy
became moody and strange
because he liked to carry water in a sieve.
In time he discovered that writing would be
the same as carrying water in a sieve.
As he wrote, the boy saw
he was able to be
a novice, monk or beggar
at the same time.
The boy learned to use the words.
Saw he could do mischief with the words.
And he began doing mischief.
He was able to interrupt a bird’s flight
by putting a period at the end of a sentence.
He was able to modify the afternoon by putting rain in it.
The boy did miracles
Even making a stone bloom!
The mother noticed the boy with tenderness.
The mother said:
“My son you will be a poet.
You will carry water in a sieve your whole life.
You will fill the
emptinesses with your mischief
and some people
will love you for your oddities.”