A butterfly passes in front of me
And for the first time in the universe I notice
That butterflies don’t have colour or movement,
Just like flowers don’t have perfume or colour.
Colour is what has colour in a butterfly’s wings.
In a butterfly’s movement the movement is what moves.
Perfume is what has perfume in a flower’s perfume.
A butterfly is only a butterfly
And a flower is only a flower.
– Poem XL by Alberto Caeiro (heteronym of Fernando Pessoa), sourced from Fernando Pessoa: Alberto Caeiro: Complete Poems.
Peacock butterfly perching on buddleia, Norwich, August 2016 by awildslimalien.
Previous encounters with peacock butterflies are here and here.