Thursday, November 22, 2018

#42 Backstory of the Poem "Mountain" by Haroldo Barbosa Filho

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***This is the forty-second in a never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.  All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. 

#42 Backstory of the Poem
by Haroldo Barbosa Filho
Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form?   My creative process is sometimes tempestuous: the sentences appear in swirls. Other times, ideas come quietly, as if emerging from a placid lake. Everything depends on the moment, on what is happening inside me and what I see and feel of an external event. I do not care so much about styles, but writing sincerities. (  Above Left:  Haroldo Barbosa Filho in 2018. Copyright permission granted by Haroldo Barbosa Filho for this CRC Blog Post Only
Below:  Attributed and copyright permission granted by Haroldo Barbosa Filho for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

Where were you when you started to actually write the poem?  And please describe the place in great detail.   When starting this poem, I was alone in my home in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, with a white sheet of a text editor program and mentally reproducing an image of Maine I had seen in my "computer travels": Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor. 
For some time, I have a great passion for that state, especially the Portland of Longfellow, the Rockport of the Brazilian lyric singer Bidu Sayão and the Bangor of Stephen King. I tried to remember the details of that landscape. I imagined myself sitting on one of the stones, breathing the air of the United States. Suddenly I noticed that my soul was there, but the body was stuck to my reality. So I felt small, sad, because I wanted to live in that place. Thus, these lines have taken shape.
What month and year did you start writing this poem?   This poem was written at the end of 2015.
How many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?)   I typed the poem directly into the computer using text software. After the first sketch, I remember changing one word or another. The poem was published practically as it was initially conceived.
Were there any lines in any of your rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version?  And can you share them with us?   In fact, I felt a very great distress to finish the poem. This caused me to continue transferring my feelings to the computer, so that another poem appeared, where I tried to put myself in my place as a small poet in search of expansion, at that moment, not knowing how to do it.
I looked through the gap and realized How big was
the Universe out there.
And how small was
the gap on the inside here.
I looked through the gap and realized
that I was the loneliness.
If it were not for it, maybe it could be the gap. Or, who knows, the Universe
What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem?   I think this poem shows the reader that everyone has dreams. And that it is the right of each to express these dreams, trying to realize them, however difficult the difficulties may be.
Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why?   Was the part where I cite forgiveness. I reflected a lot on how hard it is to forgive and, especially, to forgive myself.
Has this poem been published before?  And if so where?   This poem, like the other one quoted, is part of the book "Brief Words" published by Amazon (bilingual: English and Portuguese).

Anything you would like to add?   I want to thank you, Christal, for the kind invitation to join your blog. I am sure that from it many people will know a little more of my literature and will share my dreams. (Right: Haroldo Barbosa Filho in 2010.  Copyright permission granted by Haroldo Barbosa Filho for this CRC Blog Post Only)   

There is a time when,
faced with so many losses,
you see yourself with nothing of what in the worldly
 life, claims to be something.
It is as if, naked as a monk,
finding loneliness,
With a gourd to drink the tsampa
 And a small piece of ground that does not belong to him, Where he dares to sleep.
And looking at the shallows of the mountain,
Compares it with its own size
 And acknowledges that the monument
 is the mountain, not you.
You climb the mountain
 And glimpse an infinite ahead and high,
 A vastness that proves to be much more than you
 And of which its importance is minimal.
 At this moment, the nape of the neck is numb
 And you plow within yourself.
 Stop hating, stop complaining,
 Only then comes that sensation that emanates from
 the inside out, 
It wants to forgive
 It wants forgiveness.
 Only then you become part of the mountain,
 The landscape in front,
of the mantle full of eons that cover it.
 Come to truly love.

I was born in Jardinopolis, a small town in the Alta Mogiana
region, located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Nowadays I works as an adman writer and journalist. As an author, I has published books in many literary areas, such as sociology, romance, and poetry collections. In English I published “Brief Words” (poems) and “Stories for us to read while we grow up” (a book for K-12 children).
I'm 57 years old. (Left:  Haroldo Barbosa Filho in 2010.  Copyright permission granted by Haroldo Barbosa Filho for this CRC Blog Post Only) 



001  December 29, 2017
Margo Berdeshevksy’s “12-24”

002  January 08, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “82 Miles From the Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café”

003 January 12, 2018
Barbara Crooker’s “Orange”

004 January 22, 2018
Sonia Saikaley’s “Modern Matsushima”

005 January 29, 2018
Ellen Foos’s “Side Yard”

006 February 03, 2018
Susan Sundwall’s “The Ringmaster”

007 February 09, 2018
Leslea Newman’s “That Night”

008 February 17, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher “June Fairchild Isn’t Dead”

009 February 24, 2018
Charles Clifford Brooks III “The Gift of the Year With Granny”

010 March 03, 2018
Scott Thomas Outlar’s “The Natural Reflection of Your Palms”

011 March 10, 2018
Anya Francesca Jenkins’s “After Diane Beatty’s Photograph “History Abandoned”

012  March 17, 2018
Angela Narciso Torres’s “What I Learned This Week”

013 March 24, 2018
Jan Steckel’s “Holiday On ICE”

014 March 31, 2018
Ibrahim Honjo’s “Colors”

015 April 14, 2018
Marilyn Kallett’s “Ode to Disappointment”

016  April 27, 2018
Beth Copeland’s “Reliquary”

017  May 12, 2018
Marlon L Fick’s “The Swallows of Barcelona”

018  May 25, 2018

019  June 09, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “Stiletto Killer. . . A Surmise”

020 June 16, 2018
Charles Rammelkamp’s “At Last I Can Start Suffering”

021  July 05, 2018
Marla Shaw O’Neill’s “Wind Chimes”

022 July 13, 2018
Julia Gordon-Bramer’s “Studying Ariel”

023 July 20, 2018
Bill Yarrow’s “Jesus Zombie”

024  July 27, 2018
Telaina Eriksen’s “Brag 2016”

025  August 01, 2018
Seth Berg’s “It is only Yourself that Bends – so Wake up!”

026  August 07, 2018
David Herrle’s “Devil In the Details”

027  August 13, 2018
Gloria Mindock’s “Carmen Polo, Lady Necklaces, 2017”

028  August 21, 2018
Connie Post’s “Two Deaths”

029  August 30, 2018
Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Faces in a Crowd”

030 September 16, 2018
Larry Jaffe’s “The Risking Point”

031  September 24, 2018
Mark Lee Webb’s “After We Drove”

032  October 04, 2018
Melissa Studdard’s “Astral”

033 October 13, 2018
Robert Craven’s “I Have A Bass Guitar Called Vanessa”

034  October 17, 2018
David Sullivan’s “Paper Mache Peaches of Heaven”

035 October 23, 2018
Timothy Gager’s “Sobriety”

036  October 30, 2018
Gary Glauber’s “The Second Breakfast”

037  November 04, 2018
Heather Forbes-McKeon’s “Melania’s Deaf Tone Jacket”

038 November 11, 2018
Andrena Zawinski’s “Women of the Fields”

039  November 00, 2018
Gordon Hilger’s “Poe”

040 November 16, 2018
Rita Quillen’s “My Children Question Me About Poetry” and “Deathbed Dreams”

041 November 20, 2018
Jonathan Kevin Rice’s “Dog Sitting”


  1. Haroldo Barbosa is my favorite writer and poet in Brazil. And his books for teen are the most inspirat that I had read at atual moment.
    His wrinting stile is inspirate all generegions. Im love his books at all!
    Thank you Harold for you love and gratitude for all people that read your book!