6 de julho de 2007


The most celebrated Portuguese poet, who had a major role in the development of modernism in his country. Pessoa was a member of the Modernist group Orpheu; he was its greatest representative. Pessoa's use of "heteronyms", literary alter egos, who support and criticize each other's works was also unconventional. During his career as a writer Pessoa was virtually unknown and he published little of his vast body of work. Most of his life Pessoa lived in a furnished room in Lisbon, where he died in obscurity.


O sea of salt, how much of all your salt
Contains the tears of Portugal?
So we might sail, how many mothers wept,
How many sons have prayed in vain!
How many girls betrothed reamined unwed
That we might posses you, Sea!

Was it worth the effort? Anything 's worth it
if the soul's not petty.
If you'd sail beyond the cape
Sail you must past cares, past grief.
God gave perils to the sea and sheer depth,
But mirrored heaven there.


God will, Man dreams, the work is born.
God willed that all the earth be one,
That seas unite and never separate.
You he blessed, and you went forth to read the foam.

And the white shore lit up, isle to continent,
And flowed, even to the world's end,
and suddenly the earth was seen complete,
Upsurging, round, from blue profundity.
Who blessed you made you portuguese.
Us he gave a sign: the sea's and our part in you.
The Sea fulfilled, the Empire fell apart.
But ah, Portugal must yet fulfill itself!


The poet is a faker. He
Fakes it so completely,
He even fakes he's suffering
The pain he's really feeling.

And they who read his writing
Fully feel while reading
Not that pain of his that's double,
But theirs, completely fictional.

So on its tracks goes round and round,
To entertain the reason,
That wound-up little train
We call the heart of man.


Ah, how delightful
Not to do one's duty,
Having a book to read
And not read it!
Reading's a bore,
Studying's worthless.
The sun gilds things
Without literature.

Willy nilly runs the rivers
Without an original edition.
And the breeze, this very one,
So natural, matutinal,
Since it has time, its in no hurry...

Books are papers daubed with ink.
Study's the thing where the distinction
Is unclear between nothing and nothing at all.

When there's fog, so much the better
To wait for King Sebastian's return -
Wheter he comes or not!

Poetry is grand, and goodness too, and dancing...
But best of all are children,
Flowers, music, moonlight, and the sun
That sins only when aborting and not bearing.

And more than all of this
Is Jesus Christ
Who knew nothing of finances
Nor even claimed he had a library...

By Fernando Pessoa - Portugal - (1888 - 1935)

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