“Quasi Sonnet”-Paulo Henriques Britto(translated from the Portuguese by Idra Novey)

There is nothing that leads to nothing.
Even to sit in a room, quiet and nude
as Blaise Pascal, will have some effect

on Tanzania maybe, or on New Guinea,
just as the beating wings of a lepidopter–
according to the proverb about butterflies in Peru–

could incite a tidal wave in Shanghai,
or knock down an Iraqi helicopter.

And so we become ourselves, hypocrite lecteur,
at the very least accomplices, you and I.

(Taken from Words Without Borders)

The poem has a gentle rhythm ,although there is not much imagery.The beating waves of a butterfly are supposed to have the capacity to trigger a tidal wave in the other hemisphere .Every event or a non-event can have an impact on something in the world somewhere and we are consequently accomplices in everything that happens.


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