#108 Fernando Pessoa
Once a week I decided to show you some of my favorite Portuguese writers, and there are so many! Authors who made my love for reading and writing increase with each year at school, each book and poem I wrote. Consequently, my whole view of the world changed also, seeing beauty much more often and enjoying life! So I hope you like it!
This week I bring you Fernando Pessoa.
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (Lisbon, June 13, 1888) was a poet, philosopher, playwright, essayist, translator, publicist, astrologer, inventor, businessman, Portuguese commercial, literary critic and political commentator.
Fernando Pessoa is the most universal Portuguese poet. Having been educated in South Africa, at an Irish Catholic school in Durban, he became more familiar with the English language than with Portuguese when writing his first poems in that language. Literary critic Harold Bloom considered Pessoa as “Whitman reborn” and included him in his canon among the 26 best writers of Western civilization,not only in Portuguese literature but also in English.
Of the four works he published during his lifetime, three are in English and only one in Portuguese, entitled Message.
As a poet, he wrote under different personalities — which he himself called heteronyms, such as Ricardo Reis, Álvaro de Campos and Alberto Caeiro – the latter being the object of most studies on his life and work. Robert Hass, American poet, says: “Other modernists like Yeats, Pound, Eliot invented masks through which they occasionally spoke… Pessoa invented whole poets”.
He is a remarkable writer with truly different personalities in each heteronym, if you explore each one of them you will surely identify yourself more with one. The simplicity of his writing, with no fancy words, always remind me that the important is the message yo want to transmit in your art. Not exactly if you do it in an over complicated way, just to say you+re exquisite or different. Simple things are the hardest. And Pessoa shined in being simple.
Here is one of his poems. Hope you enjoy it!