Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Poems by Fernando Pessoa

I have recently been introduced to the poetry and writing of a Portugese writer Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935. In addition to being a poet he was a prolific writer, literary critic, translator, and significant literary figure. Harold Bloom, author of Closing of the American Mind, referred to him as "the most representative poet of the 20th century," along with Pablo Neruda. He was trilingual in Portuguese, English, and French.

On another occasion I may have more time to discuss his life in more detail, digressing on his heteronymous charact. But for now, here are two of Pessoa's poems extracted from a blog entitled Poems of Fernando Pessoa.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This great wavering between
Believing and not quite dis-
Believing troubles the heart
Weary of knowing nothing.

Estranged from what it knows
For not knowing what it is,
The heart only has one vital
Moment, the finding of faith --

The faith that all the stars
Know, for it is the spider
Whose web they weave, and it is
The life before everything.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

I devote my higher mind to the ardent
Pursuit of the summit, leaving
Verse to chance and its laws,
For when the thought is lofty and noble,
The sentence will naturally seek it,
And rhythm slavishly serve it.

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