Fernando Pessoa ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡นโœ’๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

On the occasion of the 134th anniversary of the birth of Fernando Pessoa, born in Lisbon on June 13, 1888

Portrait of Pessoa by the painter Almada Negreiros

Born in Lisbon on June 13, 1888 and educated in Durban, South Africa, Fernando Pessoa is one of the most intriguing literary personalities of the last century and one of the greatest poets in Portuguese. This year is also the 86th anniversary of his death in Lisbon in 1935.

As a prolific writer he created more than seventy different characters who had their different personalities and different ways of writing. They had an independent life, so Pessoa preferred to call them heteronyms rather than pseudonyms. One of these heteronyms was รlvaro de Campos, born in Tavira, Portugal, on October 15, 1890 where he had studied mechanical engineering and finally graduated in naval engineering in Glasgow. With this name Pessoa had published collections of poems in Portuguese, some of which were published in translation on this blog.

Watercolour portrait of Pessoa by Lautir

Under his own name, Pessoa wrote various poems and some of them in English and French. He proposed some collections of poems to publishers outside Portugal, but these were not well received. Curiously, probably because of Pessoaโ€™s educational background, a reviewer of the Times Litreary Supplement commented that โ€œthe authorโ€™s mastery of English is less remarkable than his knowledge of Elizabethan Englishโ€.

From his collection โ€œ35 English Sonnetsโ€, self-published by Pessoa in Lisbon in 1918, I have selected some poems and published them in this blog in the last two years, with original text in English in front and translations into Italian:

Pessoa walking through the streets of Lisbon

Other poems published in Portuguese in loose form and directly signed as Fernando Pessoa, translated into English:

Poems published in Portuguese with the heteronymous รlvaro de Campos and translated into English and Italian:

Poems published in Portuguese with the henonym Alberto Caeiro and translated into English and Italian:

The trailer of a movie based on the Guide to Lisbon, written by Fernando Pessoa in 1925
Page on Fernando Pessoa in English
Pagina su Fernando Pessoa in italiano

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