Favored quotes Sad the man who lives at home,Content with his hearth,Without a dream whose fluttering wingMakes the embers grow redderIn the warm fire to be abandoned God wills, man dreams, the work is born.
God willed that all the earth be one,That the sea unite rather than divide it Let those for whom enough is enoughHave just enough to feel they have enough Life is brief, the soul is vast Having is procrastinating Every nation is a mystery.
Each one, by itself, is the whole world.
Great article about a show on Pessoa in MadridPessoa del fim do mundo thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection of Fernando Pessoa poems that span his entire adult life Pessoa writes in a lucid style, often poking fun at people, politics or institutions and himself but has a great love for his country hence the subtitle other poems on Portugal For someone new to him and Portugal, the notes at the back fill one in sufficiently to understand the many names involved And there are many Mensagem is a masterful poem comparable to Elliot s The Wasteland The skill, the complexity and the verse resound with history, the age of discovery and the politics of his time Divided into three parts, Pessoa reflects on the Portuguese coat of arms the Kings , the sea the heroes of discovery like Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and aelusive, hidden or concealed present future Pessoa reflects on these characters as they developed Portugal and how they have been remembered So unlike a poet sounding pompous about its history, Pessoa isreflective, almost asking the reader to ponder the same Beautifully written it becomes evenpowerful knowing the history The complete poem was only published just a year before Pessoa s death even though the poems had been written over a decade before So it reads like a powerful final statement to his country The other poems in this book range from early on from 1906 when he was an 18 year old and finish in 1935, the year of his death Politics, history and social commentaries fill his head There are so many to choose but a few stood out, like the untitled comparison of Spain and Portugal m e Ib ria or Fado da Censura or Marcha F nebre but for me the later poems had teeth Many of these poems rally against Salazar, the long time autocratic prime minister such as Poema de amor em estado novo which is sadly funny The weird irony is that as I read Funeral March as America chose a new president Days later after reading the Salazar material and trying to understand what is happening in the world, Pessoa s words seem so muchalive Is 1933 happening all over again What is happening to the world Perhaps there is some comfort in reading Pessoa now.
I was not as struck by this book as I was by The Book of Disquiet I have a feeling it may be because much is being lost in the translation Certainly, the Portuguese sounds much better than the English I have some questions on word choice, but not knowing any better I defer to the translator.
In short, this book not written under a heteronym is a paean to the Portuguese nation and spirit At times it certainly catches it In others, I am completely left adrift pun intended This may be because I am not as knowledgeable in Portuguese history or poetics as I should be.
I am not disappointed in it I believe that my failure to be seized by the verses within is derived from my own failings, and I am certain I will revisit these pages again in the years to come Certainly I greatly admire the spirit in which these poems were written In this day and age when nationalism has become a dirty word, it s nice to see something written as an homage to a place and a people and its history that is not cynical, nor mawkish, nor chest beating It would be nice to seealong those lines.
I hadn t had the chance to read poetry for a long time And Message is beautifully written and translated I learnedabout the history of Portugalimportantly the themes were all universal Portugal is still waiting for the hidden one, this time to improve the economy and livelihood of its people but you could replace every Portugal with Turkey in the text and oh how true it would all still be beautifull book , i loved it but poetry isn t my favourite type of reading, but i totally loved it i m surprised This wonderful English translation of Pessoa s Mensagem is a fantastic insight into the once great seafaring nation A series of poems on patriotic themes, Message is organised into three parts The first section dedicates a poem to each fields of the Portuguese coat of arms, and various historical figures who played a role in the establishment of the nation The second part refers to the age of Portuguese maritime exploration and its naval empire The third part of Message is Pessoa s very interesting vision of the return of King Sebastiao, whom apparently some Portuguese still await for to this day King Sebastiao is the Portuguese equivalent of King Arthur , and he is supposedly to bring about the Fifth Empire, a future utopic world of peace and understanding The book also includes an informative introduction by the translator Mark Will, and a helpful set of end notes at the back, detailing the historical aspects of each poem.
I ll have to rewrite this a bit I m slowly changing my opinion they are my own and not other people s thoughts with different expressions, so all changes, great and small, may happen in a day And it is, after all, as good a way as any of solving the problem of existence to get near enough to the things and people that have appeared to us beautiful and mysterious from a distance to be able to satisfy ourselves that they have neither mystery nor beauty ProustI want that quote on my skin, though I m not fond of whole paragraphs on one s body Perhaps on the ceiling Nevertheless, I want it near me it s an antidote for the sense of wasted time One has to try, that s always preferable to uncertainty From a distance, book covers might look enticing, and authors one holds dear might caught one s attention And when one finally gets in touch with the book, finally discovers its real essence, then one is in a better position to form an opinion Sometimes we re lucky other times, thewe get acquainted with the book, thewe realize it s not what it seems As with people This poetry collection by wondrous Pessoa is an ode to his dear Portugal He extols the virtues of its past with his delectable and mystifying verse As usual, reading about patriotic hopes mixed with grandezas passadas da na o is not my forte I m sadly losing interest but hoping for a grand finale.
March 03, 18 This edition is the English translation of Mensagem It gives the history of Portugal in a mini epic, as seen in the symbols of that country s heraldic crest The Translator s Preface describes the form asof a lyrical epyllion than an epic proper on the grand scale of Homer, Vergil, Dante, or Milton A significant theme in it takes place during the Age of Discovery Portuguese explorers sailed the extent of the oceans to reach lands it had not known existed or had surmised existed The translation could be helpful if you want to read Pessoa s original in his language.