Prompts for the Promptless: Saudade

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Saudade is a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.
Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.
Above text and lots more information at :

Suggested Prompts:

•Share a picture that represents a saudade feeling or moment
•Write a poem/story about saudade

From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

saudade I
Courtesy of via Yahoo Images

Nostalgia I
Courtesy of

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22 thoughts on “Prompts for the Promptless: Saudade

Add yours

  1. Saudade might just become my new favorite word to describe “that” feeling! Nostalgia just doesn’t cut it for me. The Afrikaans word “heimwee” triggers the feeling and I’m so glad to have found another word to use to describe this. Thank you!


      1. Oh my! Test of my phonetic skills here! hay-m-veer (silent r)
        Wikipedia is probably better:
        IPA: /ˈhɛɪmʋe/
        Hyphenation: heim‧wee
        From heim ‘home’ + wee ‘pain, longing’


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