The Valuable Time of Maturity

Mário Raul de Morais Andrade (1893-1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian, critic and photographer. He was one of the founders of Brazilian modernism and a pioneer in the field of ethnomusicology.

The rain has been with us for several days and I was thinking back to the summer walks in North Vancouver’s Park & Tilford Gardens. This is the place where I first recited Mário de Andrade’s “The Valuable Time of Maturity” to the flowers and birds – even a squirrel.

As we look forward to a New Year, I will embrace these words, “to live with intensity….and in peace.”

Come join me in the garden to recite Mário de Andrade’s poem, “The Valuable Time of Maturity.

The Valuable Time of Maturity

I counted my years and discovered that I have
less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.

I have more past than future.
I feel like the boy who received a bowl of candies.
The first ones, he ate ungracious,
but when he realized there were only a few left,
he began to taste them deeply.

I do not have time to deal with mediocrity.
I do not want to be in meetings where parade inflamed egos.

I am bothered by the envious, who seek to discredit
the most able, to usurp their places,
coveting their seats, talent, achievements and luck.

I do not have time for endless conversations,
useless to discuss about the lives of others
who are not part of mine.

I do not have time to manage sensitivities of people
who despite their chronological age, are immature.

I cannot stand the result that generates
from those struggling for power.

People do not discuss content, only the labels.
My time has become scarce to discuss labels,
I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry…
Not many candies in the bowl…

I want to live close to human people,
very human, who laugh of their own stumbles,
and away from those turned smug and overconfident
with their triumphs,
away from those filled with self-importance,
Who does not run away from their responsibilities ..
Who defends human dignity.
And who only want to walk on the side of truth
and honesty.
The essential is what makes
life worthwhile.

I want to surround myself with people,
who knows how to touch the hearts of people ….
People to whom the hard knocks of life,
taught them to grow with softness in their soul.

Yes …. I am in a hurry … to live with intensity,
that only maturity can bring.
I intend not to waste any part of the goodies
I have left …
I’m sure they will be more exquisite,
that most of which so far I’ve eaten.

My goal is to arrive to the end satisfied and in peace
with my loved ones and my conscience.
I hope that your goal is the same,
because either way you will get there too .. ”

Mário de Andrade

Park & Tilford Gardens

51 Comments Add yours

  1. Annika Perry says:

    Wow! Rebecca, I think I was meant to read this first thing this morning after a very tough weekend for the U.K. where things feel ever so dark. An amazing poem and Mário Raul de Morais Andrade writes with such direct eloquence his words reach straight into ones hearts! Thank you for this introduction to him and for sharing some of the beauty of the gardens! Hope the rain stops soon … I think it’s just reached our shores! Xx ❤️😀

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you enjoyed this poem, Annika. We are indeed living in uncertain times, each day bringing new dynamics to our daily interactions. This poem reminds me to live with hope and in peace with myself and the world around me. Happy solstice and all the very best of this festive season to you and yours. I am looking forward to entering a new year together! Hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Liz says:

    Wow what an incredible poem, beautifully read as always. “To live with intensity….and peace..” – an amazing gift of thought and principle to those of us in the latter halves of our lives. How did you come across this writer? I can’t find much of his work in English….? In any event, thank you for continuing to inspire with your marvellous blogs. Hugs! xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I found this poem through serendipity – that mysterious spirit that seems to bring things to us at the right time for the right reason. Frances, my mother sent the poem via e-Mail that come from a friend of hers who received it from another friend and so on. The idea of candies in a bowl reminded me of when I was young – I would schedule my intervals between eating a candy (I confess, that I am always been a devotee to schedules). The last candies were so very precious to me. And that is why I read the poem a little further. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about this poet. He lived an extraordinary life that was full of disruptions (lived through a revolution) but he moved into new areas for fresh research. I have no idea how he accomplished so much in his lifetime. I understand his face has appeared on the Brazilian currency. I can’t find any of his writing in English – all Portuguese, some Spanish and even one in German. Are you up to taking a Portuguese language class in 2021. So many exciting things to do, so little time. Happy solstice! Sending hugs and love!!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Liz says:

        Isn’t that just the most marvellous way for great works of art to travel! I love the idea of learning Portuguese. Plus Russian. Oh and Gaelic too. How to choose!! By the way, talking of the solstice, you must read Colm Tobin’s The Shortest Day – a 35page masterpiece of story-telling. Hugs and love back! X

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Found it and downloaded “the Shortest Day” THANK YOU, Liz for another brilliant introduction. I have read a couple of pages and am looking forward to reading it between Christmas and New Years!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. delphini510 says:

    I just felt a wish to express my thanks to you for printing this poem.
    It is exceptional. The strength, the enthusiasm, the beauty of writing,
    The wisdom of ignoring empty cymbals.

    Love it

    Miriam

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for you lovely comments. I am delighted that we connect and I’m looking forward to our ongoing discussion in the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely beautiful post. Love the poetry. xxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you Shehanne for your heartwarming comments. I am truly grateful to poets and writers who give meaning to our lives. Hugs and lots of love coming your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The best wishes, the biggest hugs to you and yours this season Rebecca. This poem is the simplest and the best because of it. A great share. xxxx

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Dave Astor says:

    Wise and deep poem, marvelously read by you, Rebecca. The advice in Mário Raul de Morais Andrade’s poem is very well worth following. Thank you for spotlighting poets with whom many of us might not have been familiar.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I love serendipity, Dave. Frances sent this poem over to me last year, forwarded on by her friend, who received it from another friend and so on….I have tried to find this poem in the Portuguese language, but have not had any luck. Nor have I found the translator, who gave us the words in English. What I would love to find is a translation of his novel, Macunaíma, published in 1928 about a man that comes from an indigenous tribe in Brazil to to São Paulo. I understand that Mario mixes vivid descriptions of both jungle and city, some of it seeming to be fantasy. So many books and so little time – but we will never run out of adventures. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. J.D. says:

    “I do not have time to deal with mediocrity.” Amen. Great poem. A bit curmudgeonly, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with no longer having the patience for the superficial. If only more could see the value in savoring the candies sooner…
    Wishing you a holiday filled with magic and miracles, dear Rebecca. Your presence is a gift. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mary Jo Malo says:

      Rebecca’s presence is indeed a gift!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Clanmother says:

        Thank you!!!!!

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for your friendship, Julie. I think that we are celebrating 10 years coming this 2021. You have been a clear and shining example of living brilliantly without any hint of mediocrity. Your word for the year, “illumination” has given me insight into my thoughts on reconciliation during a time of great uncertainty. Friendships brings light into dark places. All the very best of this festive season – hugs and love coming your way. Ready for 2021!!! Happy solstice.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Paul Andruss says:

    This is the essence of genius. The ability to take thoughts each of us think are ours alone, but which are in reality part of our common experience of being human, and order them in a way we could never aspire to. It is as if he read my heart amd spoke it aloud. Magnificent and moving

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      How very well said, Paul. Mario de Andrade’s life did not unfold as he first imagined. He planned to be a concert pianist, but his brother’s death and his trembling hands led into into a new path. I am very interested in his expressive and ethnographic interest in folklore, as well as his search, through folklore, of art and culture. This is something that you are doing in your writing. I am delighted that you enjoyed this poem. All the very best of this festive season – take care of yourself.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Paul Andruss says:

        I am indebted to you for introducing me to new creators, Rebecca. There are so many artists the choice is bewildering. It is a comfort to have someone take you by the hand and lead you through the labyrinth like a Beatrice to your Dante. And thank you for the lovely compliment. Happy Mithrasmas to you. Pxx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Dear Beatrice and Dante – now that is a story to look into in 2021. I am delighted that we connected in 2020 (Thanks Shehanne)! BTW, I appreciated your nod to Sol Invictus, Another story to explore. We are on a grand adventure.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My sentiments exactly, Paul! This is one of those poems that makes me ask, How did you know what I’ve been experiencing? And how could you express it so much more clearly than I ever could?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Paul Andruss says:

        Liz, ain’t that the truth! Px

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Donna Moore says:

    This is so appropriate, both for the Covid season and the season of my life. Once again, thank you. Christmas love and hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for your wonderful Christmas message, Donna! Love and hugs to you and your wonderful family. I love this season of my life – so glad that we are entering 2021 together.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Mary Jo Malo says:

    The impatience of the mature 🙂 Dear Rebecca, my favorite line you’ve so sweetly read here is:

    People to whom the hard knocks of life,
    taught them to grow with softness in their soul.

    Such exquisite words.

    I’m especially enjoying my Christmas candy this year 🙂 Hugs for you and yours!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      What I especially admire about poets is their ability to use personal experiences to speak to the overarching story of humanity. When I looked into Mario de Andrade’s biography, I understood how he came upon that poignant thought. I read that in 1913, his 14-year-old brother Renato died suddenly during a football game. Mario was studying music at the Conservatório Dramático e Musical de São Paulo. When he heard of his brother’s death, he left the Conservatory to stay at Araraquara, where his family had a farm. When he returned to his piano studies at the conservatory, he could no longer continue with the piano because of a intermittent trembling of his hands. He could have give up at that point, but he persevered and received a degree in piano. Instead of performing in concerts, he began studying singing and music theory with an eye toward becoming a professor of music. And then the real adventures began…. Sending many hugs and love back to you and yours. Looking forward to entering 2021 together.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you for this additonal context for the poem, Rebecca. Mario died relatively young (by today’s standards).

        Liked by 2 people

  10. What a wonderful poem this and so beautifully read by you. Yes, it’s so true that we need to take time to really savour those last few candies left to us. George Bernard Shaw once said that youth is wasted on the young, and how right he was. We can’t do much about our past, but we can live our future with more wisdom and circumspection. I totally concur with J.D.’s last sentence. Have a lovely Christmas and may your New Year be filled with happy surprises. 🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Sylvia – love that quote by George Bernard Shaw and agree with you wholeheartedly – we can live our future with more wisdom and circumspection. Our lives have experienced a disruption this past year and the future is uncertain, but one thing that is certain – the joy of friendship. Looking forward to our discussions in the New Year. You have a marvelous way of embracing life and enjoying those candies. P.S. I love that phrase “Live Our Future.” Have placed it on the side of my computer.

      Liked by 4 people

  11. It sounds like he had a lovely life.
    Happy solstice, Rebecca. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Happy solstice, Teagan. I’m delighted that you stopped by. Mario did have a lovely life, even though it was marked by tragedy and triumph, disruptions and transitions. He embraced a very different vision and, in many cases, was misunderstood. He died of a heart attack at 52, so you wonder what other things could he have accomplished. It is a reminder that we must embrace our creativity now, even during times of uncertainty and even crisis (Mario lived through a revolution). Sending hugs and more hugs back on the wing.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you, dear Rebecca. I also look forward to our New Year discussions. 🤗🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ms Frances says:

    I commented on this when I read it on THE PAPER, but I do not think the comment went through. This is a really gifted Brazilian poet, really an outstanding piece of literature. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed your reading of the poem as well!! I have happy memories of Brazil, I think you do, too. Do you remember the rainy season–a time not to be forgotten!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I do remember the rainy season, which is so different from ours. The rain was warm and evaporated quickly on our skin. I also remember that sunrise and sunset were punctual – 6am sunrise and 6pm sunset. I remember the music, the laughter and the many celebrations. Thank you for introducing me to this poet – you sent it to me in an e-mail last year. Sending hugs and love!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Jean-Jacques says:

    At war with time I am, hard to keep up with its needless speed!

    “ Time Runs Out ”
    – ready or not –

    Ye may question
    If I’ve sorted
    Life’s accrues,
    Thus so before
    I’m to exit,
    From this land
    In final snooze,
    That who follow
    Said loved best,
    Find understand
    I chose elect,
    To so abscond
    Until I’d opt,
    Hence to be gone
    Yet ready or not,
    I’m laid to rest
    As the gods select,
    To have my hide
    When they decide,
    That time runs out!

    written in Sweetsburg
    © Jean-Jacques Fournier
    May 6, 2007

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I know exactly what you mean. These past few days I have been trying to set up a new computer, now that my trusty “old” computer has politely told me it was time to move on… Thank you so much for your words – they are a wonderful benediction to this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Meg says:

    This is a perfect time to read and reflect on such wise words. The pictures are lovely too. Thank you Rebecca!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Meg. I agree – Mario’s words remind us of what is important in our fleeting moments. All the very best of this festive season. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful poem! Merry Christmas! I feel like you have given each of us reading your blog a little Christmas gift to open with this poem!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Merry Christmas, Linda. Thank you for your lovely comments and for reciting the poem with me. We live in an uncertain world, but when we are together in spirit, there is hope and resilience. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lavinia Ross says:

    That is a beautiful poem by Mário de Andrade. I was not familiar with his work, and thank you for the introduction. Have a wonderful holiday season, from all of us here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you Lavinia for your heartwarming message. Sending hugs and love back your way.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Essence is essential. This poem resonates with me. As I get older, I see that there’s not that much time, and no time to waste, therefore, it’s important to do the things which matter.
    Merry Christmas!
    Happy, safe and healthy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I share your thoughts Inese. It is so easy to delay life. Many of our “urgent” tasks are not that urgent at all, only our estimation of them. I am delighted that we are entering another new year together! My promise to myself is to keep focused and be diligent my choices. It is so easy to get distracted by noise. All the very best of the festive season – take care and be safe!!! Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Resa says:

    Thank you for this recitation, dear Rebecca!
    This poem sounds/reads written for today, and all days!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad you listened in and met up with Mario de Andrade. There are universal themes that defy time and location. Happy New Year, my dear friend. A new year awaits our arrival. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Resa says:

        HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. beautifully written! such an incredible poem! many thanks for sharing❤️

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! Your feedback or suggestions for improving my blog would be very much appreciated! have a wonderful day💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by!! Looking forward to checking our your tips!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. my pleasure! thank you very much🤍

        Liked by 2 people

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