"One has to leave, one has to stay..." —Eugénio de AndradePoemas do Jardim | Poems from the Garden: Bilingual Poems in Portuguese and English (2021)
by Sonja N. Bohm

forgive me these lines!to me you are Portugal—how could I not sing?


Conceived of in English and crafted to be read in Portuguese, this collection of bilingual poems written side-by-side in Portuguese and English is the fruit of a journey into learning and loving the Portuguese language. The Garden represents an Ideal—a thing not to be fully realized or attained in this life, but no less real or conceivable. The Garden is Portugal. Sonja N. Bohm

With special appreciationto my teacherLURDES SARAMAGO CHAPPELL
Revised Edition
Paperback | Dec 5, 2021USD 14.99
ISBN: 978-1-7362835-4-7Language: Portuguese/EnglishCategory: PoetryFormat: PrintEdition: RevisedPages: 237
This new Revised Edition of my Poemas (look for the gold leaf on the cover) has a new font feature (drop caps!), updated reviews, and corrects minor errors and discrepancies present in the original. Now currently available at Lulu.com! The First Edition is still available at Lulu or your favorite online bookstore (read more below!).
Paperback | Feb 15, 2021USD 14.99
ISBN: 978-1-7362835-0-9Language: Portuguese/EnglishCategory: PoetryFormat: PrintEdition: 1stPages: 237
eBook | Feb 7, 2021USD 4.99
ISBN: 978-1-7362835-3-0Language: English/PortugueseCategory: PoetryFormat: EBOOKEdition: 1stPages: 112

Cover image: View from the Garden Caffé overlooking Avenida do Jardim within the Jardins da Parede in Parede, Portugal.


"...a poetic gift of emotion, insight, and connection—words representing a moment, yet these words speak to shared experience crossing the boundaries of time and distance. Highly recommended."Grace Greene, USA Today bestselling author, author of The Memory of Butterflies and Beach Rental.
"Whether you are Portuguese or just learning Portuguese, this book of poems will suit you. Each poem is written in Portuguese, and then English on the following page. The book is great quality, easy to read, and easy to get lost in. The words fly off the page and fly you mentally to a quiet garden in Portugal. It's a lovely book, with lovely poems, and best of all, I can share it with my English speaking wife who only sort of understands Portuguese!" —David Rodrigues, author of 100 Portuguese Moments In a Not So Portuguese World (2021). (Barnes & Noble review, ★★★★★)
"...full of space and light ... In short but intricate bursts of emotion, the poems capture the sense of movement through life and love, transformation through loss, as well as the experience of beauty. There is certainly a sense the poems are more sumptuous in Portuguese, but even if you cannot read Portuguese, Bohm transmits an almost sacred love of language to great effect." Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

"...entrancing. Mesmerizing." (Goodreads)

"suas poesias são inspiradoras!" (Instagram)

"Los poemas dicen muchas cosas llegan a el alma" (Twitter)


(list is not exhaustive)
fnac.pt (Kobo EBOOK)
Bookshop.org (paperback)
Lulu.com (paperback & EBOOK)
Amazon (paperback & Kindle EBOOK)
Barnes & Noble (paperback & Nook EBOOK)
Book Depository (paperback)
WalMart (Kobo EBOOK)
WalMart (paperback)
Google Play (EBOOK)

INDEX (in English)

forgive me these lines (Dedicatory poem)

Per Aspera

I have to look down


To feel the sun’s rays in the palm of my hand

Deep Waters

the path of desire (haiku)



I wait for a soft breeze

Garden of Secrets

Song Thrush

We are equal

I’ll assume the shape of my iniquity

Facing the garden wall

I know that the gate is narrow

Not Today

I Can’t

The promise of Spring hangs in the air

What spirit is here

I’ll never possess you, songbird

Written on the face is truth

My Muse

I will be where the tracks meet the linden trees

I don’t need to know

Like a Flower

My War

Half asleep, I dream

Nature doesn’t speak with words

Nocturne (a counter-melody)

In dreams I swim through the air

An Easter Lament

Nature plays her sweet songs

Pragmatic Poem I (Sincerity)

We’ll See

The Windstorm

Morning Thoughts

Everything in Nature moves in perfect time

To dwell in love is like this

I linger long about your door

The seasons have changed. So, who knew?

Pragmatic Poem II

Hope, My Joy

Solitude II (My Adoration)

Waves (Come and Go)

Solitude III (The Cry of a Dove)

Cold Feet

Wind and Spirit

If only this emptiness

I Turned My Back

Beat the Drum




More or Less

It’s not the waiting

Always Well

You can’t tell the wind where to blow

Bodies of Water

The Light of Day

Be Strong!

The New Orpheus

Pragmatic Poem III

Masculine are the hands that toil

Summer Wind

My Desire

Portugal! I love everything about you!

Lines Written on an Airplane

If poetry is life

I saw a word of love

If you tell me that this tree will never bear fruit

If all I have to give is nothing

A Blessing

For a shadow to exist

To see but not to touch

Ignis Fatuus

My reason, satisfaction

Do you know?

What can I sing that has not been sung?

There will always be roses

Maybe I’ll disappear into the shadows

A Butterfly

To entertain a thought so strange


It’s better, isn’t it?

This people, this land

The waters are indifferent

You know my desires

I imagine that the waters

Oh Dawn!

Tranquil is the water

Bring the darkness

You play your music before the world

Lovingly I gaze, longingly I weep

Not Now

ÍNDICE (em Português)

forgive me these lines (em inglês)

Per Aspera

Eu tenho que olhar para baixo


Sentir os raios do sol na palma da minha mão

Águas Profundas

o caminho do desejo



Espero por uma brisa suave

Jardim dos Segredos


Somos iguais

Assumirei a forma da minha iniquidade

De frente para o muro do jardim

Eu sei que o portão é estreito

Hoje Não

Não Posso

A promessa da Primavera paira no ar

Que espírito está aqui

Nunca vou possuir-te, ave canora

Escrito no rosto está a verdade

A Minha Musa

Eu estarei onde os trilhos se cruzam com as tílias

Não preciso de saber

Como uma Flor

A Minha Guerra

Meio adormecida, eu sonho

A Natureza não fala com palavras

Noturno (um contraponto)

Nos sonhos nado pelo ar

Um Lamento de Páscoa

A Natureza toca as suas canções doces

Poema Pragmático I (Sinceridade)

Vamos Ver

O Vendaval

Morning Thoughts (em inglês)

Tudo na Natureza se move no tempo perfeito

Habitar no amor é assim

I linger long about your door (em inglês)

As estações mudaram. Então, quem sabia?

Poema Pragmático II

Esperança, a Minha Alegria

Solidão II (A Minha Adoração)

Ondas (Vai e Vem)

Solidão III (O Choro de uma Pomba)


Vento e Espírito

Se apenas este vazio

Virei as Costas

Toca o Tambor




Mais ou Menos

Não é a espera

Sempre Bem

Não podes dizer ao vento onde soprar

Corpos de Água

A Luz do Dia

Sê Forte!

O Novo Orfeu

Poema Pragmático III

Masculinas são as mãos que labutam

Vento de Verão

O Meu Desejo

Portugal! Eu amo tudo sobre ti!

Versos Escritos em um Avião

Se a poesia é vida

Vi uma palavra de amor

Se me disseres que está árvore nunca vai dar fruto

Se tudo o que tenho para dar é nada

Uma Benção

Para que uma sombra exista

Ver mas não tocar

Fogo Fátuo

A minha razão, satisfação


O que posso cantar que não foi cantado?

Sempre haverá rosas

Talvez desapareça nas sombras

Uma Borboleta

Para entreter um pensamento tão estranho


É melhor, não é?

Este povo, esta terra

As águas são indiferentes

Conheces os meus desejos

Imagino que as águas

Ó Madrugada!

Tranquila é a água

Traz a escuridão

Tocas a tua música em frente do mundo

Com amor eu olho, com saudade, eu choro

Agora Não

"Noturno (Contraponto)"—Melody and lyrics by Sonja N. Bohm set to the first four bars of Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 by Frédéric Chopin (Kistner 1833 edition). Feat. Dan Waldron—Oboe; Sombra—Vocals; Manuel Morais—Piano.

At YouTube.


"...in the song there was a secret little inner song, hardly perceptible, but always there, sweet and secret and clinging, almost hiding in the counter-melody..." —from The Pearl (1947) by John Steinbeck

The story behind the song.

Selected readingsPoems In My Pocket: Haikus (in English) written during the last full month of my stay in Portugal, February 2020.

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A work in progress...
Banco Vazio Poesia | Empty Bench Poetry
A continued journey into learning & loving the Portuguese language.
Cover image: A bench and rooster at Parque Marechal Carmona in Cascais, Portugal. Photo taken on 31 January 2019.
65poems, and counting...
More bilingual poems in Portuguese & English!

you left a poemon my cheek—coarse, like wet sandthat clings to the skin

Follow my Instagram account @banco_vazio.poesia for posts.
"...nos bancos vazios / Dentro do meu peito, estás sempre comigo." —David Mourão-Ferreira

Selected readings—Selected poetry readings in Portuguese from my BANCO VAZIO POESIA (EMPTY BENCH POETRY)—a work still in progress. Poems read by Marina Arantes, Pedro Romano & Catarina Almeida. (CC) Subtitles in Portuguese & English available at YouTube—along with more poems!

Three poems.

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"Life has only one expression, the one where the rooster crows, the one where you listen to it, moved, knowing the night cannot contain it." —Eugénio de Andrade
"And they left him there, where the worlds aspire / In the sunrise glow and the sunset fire!"Florence Earle Coates