Fernando Pessoa

“I have thoughts which, if I could bring them forth and make them living, would add a new lightness to the stars, a new beauty to the world and a greater love to the heart of men.”

-Fernando Pessoa

If you like poetry, I encourage you to explore the work of Fernando Pessoa, who is, in my opinion, the greatest Portuguese poet to have ever lived. Much of his work is translated to English and you can find it online. There’s a rarely seen depth to his thoughts. There are various heteronyms, he would dissociate and then write, and each has different personality and various, sometimes extreme, points of view. He was crazy, yes, and he was a genius.

Aside from poetry, The Book of Disquiet is a notable piece of art. It will leave you breathless.

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11 thoughts on “Fernando Pessoa

  1. I discovered “The Book of Disquiet” several years ago and it has become my favorite book—absolutely unique, and perhaps even a little disturbing…

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      1. I could pick almost anything at random and say the same, but this is unparalleled in its beautiful, terrifying, profound meaninglessness: “The magic power of words in isolation, or joined together on the basis of sound, with inner reverberations and divergent meanings even as they converge, the splendour of phrases inserted between the meanings of other phrases, the virulence of vestiges, the hope of the woods, and the absolute peacefulness of the ponds on the farms of my childhood of ruses … And so, within the high walls of absurd audacity, in the rows of trees and in the startled tremors of what withers, someone other than me would hear from sad lips the confession denied to more insistent entreaties. Never again, not even if the knights were to come back on the road that was visible from the top of the wall, would there be peace in the Castle of the Last Souls, where lances jangled in the unseen courtyard, nor would any other name on this side of the road be remembered but the one which at night enchanted, like the Moorish ladies of folklore, the child who later died to life and to wonder.”

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  2. I understand that Pessoa was always fearful of going mad. His extraordinary detachment and isolation must have pushed him into perilous latitudes. And though he flirts with an almost suicidal and destructive vision, I always find his words to be strangely uplifting. I recently discovered that he was friends with none other than Aleister Crowley! They used to play chess together.

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