Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rafael, Portrait of the Artist

Rafael is from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He lives in the same building as me. He's here in London on his summer vacation (which happens in winter!) to study English at the EC School in the West End. Back home he's a second year law student. But what he really wants to do is write poetry.

He reads lots of poetry, in Portuguese, French and English. He bought so many books while he was here that he'll have to ship them home. Another thing he did while in London: he got a tattoo on his arm in Russian. It says "the Death of Ivan Ilyich."
In his last few days here, he worked furiously on a leatherbound book of poetry for a girl back home named Julia. He painstakingly illustrated every other page, while listening to Wagner. (And Vampire Weekend, at my insistence). The book was 100 pages long when he finished.

I found his work ethic rather beautiful, so I asked permission to take some photos.

Rafa, there's a girl on your bed... But he's too busy to notice. Now that's dedication.

I'm going to miss him now that he's leaving. He was a good friend.

Adeus, mi brasileiro

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderful man. i wish i knew what his poetry was like- if he shows such dedication to a woman back home.
    Ali, i've read a bunch of it and your travel blog is great, so funny, I'm glad you're doing it. see you get kicks out of the english things, so I think I ought to steal you for a day and make you do something nerdy. John Keat's house opens up again at easter, and i also totally want to go to the Freud museum. get a blog for your fictional writing!