|Fernando Pessoa ~ 1888–1935|
Pessoa, Fernando, 1888–1935, Portuguese poet, b. Lisbon. Reflecting the influence of both the classical tradition and French symbolism, his poetry moves from saudosismo, or nostalgia for a mythic past, to an increasing concern with consciousness and sensation. He is famous for having written under 73 different names. Four of these (his own, Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, and Álvaro de Campos) are well known. Each of these personas has his own putative biography, physical characteristics, relationship to the others, poetic voice, and outlook, and in part reflects Pessoa’s disbelief in the idea of an integrated personality. Among Pessoa’s collections, which include poems in English, are Sonnets (1918), English Poems (1922), and Mensagem (1934).
“Could it think, the heart would stop beating.”
“No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.”
“Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there’s no palace till it’s built.”