a blog with cultural bulimia.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

one poem

I come from afar and bear in my profile,
If only in remote and misty form,
The profile of another being, at variance
With the base and human silhouette now mine.

Perhaps in former times I was, not Boabdil,
But merely his last look from the road
At the face of the Granada he was leaving,
A cold silhouette beneath the unbroken blue...

What I am now is that imperial longing
For what I once saw of myself in the distance...
I am myself the loss I suffered...

And on this road which leads to Otherness
Bloom in slender wayside glory
The sunflowers of the empire dead in me...
Stations of the Cross
by Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa (ps´wä), 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).

Modernism and the Paradoxes of Authorship: 'He created a large gallery of authors, each with his own history, who also wrote essays commenting on one another—including Fernando Pessoa "himself."'