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Maritime Ode

Caixa Geral de Depositos, in partnership with Arte Institute and Décima Colina, is pleased to present the theater play "Maritime Ode" with actor Diogo Infante and musician João Gil.

This masterpiece by write Fernando Pessoa will take place at Alvin Ailey (405 West 55th Street), on March 24, 8 pm.

The play will also be staged at Rutgers University (Bradley Hall Theatre, 110 Warren Street, 3rd floor, Newark, NJ 07102), March 25, 6 pm. Free admission.


«Maritime Ode» is one of the most extraordinary poems by Álvaro de Campos, whose text is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015. It’s dawning. A man on a quay, watching, takes over the wheel of the steamer that never docked. He sails on an inner voyage, in his mind wandering through all the seas, all the bays, and summoning and multiplying himself into the identities of all the men, and women, and children who have sailed from the beginning till the end of time, his emotions ranging wide. «Maritime Ode», with its 904 lines, is not a dramatic text, does not sport any characters or action. It’s a kind of verbal delirium, well-structured literary, poetic text, quite clear and dynamic, depicting intense, rhythmic and rigorous aesthetic characteristics.
From the first opening lines, the rigorous versification is suggested by a steering wheel the man who is talking feels to be spinning within himself, slowly at first, but with increasing speed until it gets paroxysmal, thus symbolically assuming the steering-wheel as the centre of the world. As witness to the modern world, the poet relentlessly tried «to feel everything in every possible way»; from taking for himself the explosive power of machinery, be it the speed of time or the very wish to leave. As the «poet of modernity», in poems of torrential, vast, delirious, even violent style, Álvaro de Campos celebrates both industrial and mechanical civilization, and expresses a profound spleen towards urban everyday life, always taking for himself the city man’s point of view. 
Embodying the energy contained in this poem, actor Diogo Infante salvages the words, emotionally depicting all their meanings, in a cathartic process through which the ode gets close to its unspeakable limit, and then goes back to the quiet normality the poem suggests.

Please get you tickets here