My Poetry Corner June 2021 features the poem “Father’s Presence” (Presença de Pai) by Leonardo André, a Brazilian music composer, music teacher, writer, and poet. He composed his first song at the age of thirteen. In the 1980s, during his years as an undergraduate pursuing an Artistic Education at The Marcelo Tupinambá College in the City of São Paulo, he frequented several poetry groups and joined the Santo Amaro Poets Association.
A year after his graduation, André released five self-published books at the 1990 Biennial Book Fair in São Paulo. These include three children’s books and two poetry collections, Verses that Sing (Versos que Canto) and Verses of Love, Desires, Longing and Solitude (Versos de Amor, Desejos, Saudade e Solidão).
In “Father’s Presence,” André pays homage to a father who is a positive role model in his life. What is made clear at the outset is his father’s constant presence.
Father Your constant presence The look, at times, distant Makes me admire you
Not every son or daughter can boast of having a father present in their life. Even when a father is present, cases abound of abusive and violent co-existence. For those fathers willing to embrace their role and responsibilities, despite the challenges of fatherhood, their child’s growth reflects their constant care and attention.
Your tight hug, firm hands And always by my side Give me strength to move forward
The world is not such a scary place to a son or daughter who knows that Father has our back. When we are hurting, Father is there to help us get up after a fall and to smile again.
Your smile gives light Your voice fascinates me Soothes me in times of pain
Father’s example not only shapes our character, but also the way we love ourselves and others.
Friend, hero, companion Sincere, loyal, true My example of love
If you have been blessed with such a father, know that he is more precious than gold or diamonds. Remember always to thank him for the beautiful and strong person you have become today.
Today I want to thank you For giving me the gift of life To be strong, to grow and to strive
To read the complete featured poem, “Father’s Presence,” in English and its original Portuguese, and to learn more about the work of Leonardo André, go to my Poetry Corner June 2021.
Happy Father’s Day!