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ABOUT LISBON
18th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology
ISEG, Technical University of Lisbon
Portugal July 4-6, 2013
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I say “Lisbon”
When I arrive from the south and cross the river
And the city opens up as if born from its name
It opens and rises in its nocturnal vastness
In its long shimmering of blue and of river
In its rugged body of hills –
I see it better because I say it
Everything is more clearly where it is
Everything shows more clearly what it lacks
Because I say
Lisbon with its name of being and nonbeing
With its meanders of astonishment insomnia and shacks
And its secret theatre sparkle
Its masklike smile of intrigue and complicity
While the wide sea stretches westward
Lisbon swaying like a sailing ship
Lisbon cruelly built next to its own absence
I say the city’s name
I say it to see

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919-2004)
translated by Richard Zenith