Giving Shape to Dreams

Simão Cortês

Dreams are strange things. Whether we regard them as prophetic, psychoanalytic or merely as the reorganization of cognitive material during sleep, the truth is that they affect us. We wake up drenched in cold sweat, laughing, panting or crying because of dreams. Once I was so scared during a dream that I woke up to the sound of my own voice praying a Hail Mary.

This creative project … used dream material as its source of inspiration. This brief exposure is my personal justification for attempting to create a project that intimately relates to dreams. The creative language seemed to me a good way of keeping some of the dream feeling alive, perhaps at the expense of its narrative. The idea came to me after I heard a long lost podcast where the speaker mentioned that people in some so called primitive societies created a song for their dreams each morning after they woke up. Although I could not find a reference indicating that this story is true, the idea lingered and developed into this project.


These were written immediately on waking from dreams as a method of capturing the essence of the dream. They have been translated from the original Portugese.

Hymn to Morpheus

Night in Odivelas
At the crossroads, a candle initiates me
In the mysteries of the dark
And the night’s dew
Is not enough to put out the dream

Alchemy of a white body

Your skin smells like the aninse of the fields
And the snow of the highest mountains
Your body reflects the sunlight
Like the Moon

Albedo of my life
Every kiss
Leaves monsters on my soul’s shore
Brought by the high tide

And every mystery hides
In the alchemy of your white body

Suspended Gardens

In the world of the dead
Tears flow
They gather on the glass floor
That reveals ordered altars
Like the suspended gardens
Of memory

I look at my childhood toys
Carefully organized
And through the mist of my tears
They look back at me


The closed doors of the graveyards
Cut our connection with the earth
Tombstones glow in the night
Far away like the Moon
In our world
There’s no time to count the dead.

Joan of Arc

A whole life to learn
How to be sung by the angel
My story somewhere else
Like a rogue dream

And every day the angel’s voice calls
And my life flows like a river

Towards the ocean
I myself an elegy
To the one who heard voices


In front of an old house
We allow the spirits to speak
Through us.

Tears flow from a pair of blue eyes
Moved by the beauty of the images
Leaving our mouths
Drawings sliding through the air.

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