My favourite poet is Fernando Pessoa. He was one of the greatest Portuguese poets of all time.
He was born on 13 June 1888 in Lisbon. His father passed away when he was five years old. After his mother remarried, they moved to South Africa, where his stepfather was the Portuguese consul in Durban. I guess this will be a lucky co-incidence for me, as this caused him to become fluent in English. He returned to Lisbon at the age of 17 and lived there until he passed away in 1935.
In my opinion, the best book Fernando Pessoa wrote was The Book of Disquiet.
Here are a few quotes/poems by Fernando Pessoa, which I am sure will make you see why I think he is such a brilliant poet.
“The value of things is not the time they last,
but the intensity with which they occur.
That is why there are
unforgettable moments and unique people!”
“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”
“No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.”
“Life is what we make of it. Travel is the traveler. What we see isn’t what we see but what we are.”
We all have two lives: The true, the one we dreamed of in childhood and go on dreaming of as adults in a substratum of mist; the false, the one we love when we live with others, the practical, the useful, the one we end up by being put in a coffin.”
“I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life.”
“Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality — it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself.”
“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd — the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
“Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily. It is a journey of the spirit through the material world and, since it is the spirit that travels, it is the spirit that is experienced. That is why there exist contemplative souls who have lived more intensely, more widely, more tumultuously than others who have lived their lives purely externally. The end result is what matters. What one felt was what one experienced.”
There was a moment
“There was a moment
When you let
Settle on my sleeve
(More a movement
Of fatigue, I believe,
Than any thought)
Your hand. And drew it
Away. Did I
Feel it, or not?
Don’t know. But remember
And still feel
A kind of memory,
At the place where you laid
The hand, which offered
Meaning – a kind of,
But so softly…
All nothing, I know.
There are, though,
On a road of the kind
Life is, things – plenty –
Do I know whether,
As I felt your hand
Settle into place
Upon my sleeve
And a little, a little,
In my heart,”