saudade

saudade

 

Saudade

“This untranslatable Portuguese term refers to the melancholic longing or yearning. A recurring theme in Portuguese and Brazilian literature, saudade evokes a sense of loneliness and incompleteness.

Portuguese scholar Aubrey Bell attempts to distill this complex concept in his 1912 book In Portugal, describing saudade as “a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present.” He continues to say that saudade is “not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.”

Saudade can more casually be used to say that you miss someone or something, even if you’ll see that person or thing in the near future. It differs from nostalgia in that one can feel saudade for something that might never have happened, whereas nostalgia is “a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.”

Here´s a stirring poem  titled “Saudade”that embodies that sense completely.

Saudade
by  Cheryl Moskowitz
Think of how, in its final breath, the dying sun reaches
pink fingers out across the sky and places them urgently
on whatever surface it can find to reflect its own image.
Imagine; a lake or a window
my eyes or your hair.
Think of it as a branch, a root, a budding
from raecan, rookah, ruka to reach, to stretch,
to make long, to be long,
only to belong.
Make me a cloak of longing and I will wear it always.
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