Fernando Pessoa

Portugal
13 Jun 1888 // 30 Nov 1935
Poet

Poems

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We Know the World is False (11)

The world is woven all of dream and error/ And but one sureness in our truth may lie —/ That when we hold to aught our thinking's mirror/ We know it not by knowing it thereby./ For but one side of th...

We Are Too Far in Us from Outward Truth (12)

We are in Fate and Fate's and do but lack/ Outness from soul to know ourselves its dwelling,/ And do but compel Fate aside or back/ By Fate's own immanence in the compelling./ We are too far in us fr...

Something in me Was Born Before the Stars (13)

Something in me was born before the stars/ And saw the sun begin from far away./ Our yellow, local day on its wont jars,/ For it hath communed with an absolute day./ Through my Thought's night, as a ...

The Very Thought of Absence Comes from Presence (14)

Even as upon a low and cloud-domed day,/ When clouds are one cloud till the horizon./ Our thinking senses deem the sun away/ And say «'tis sunless» and «there is no sun»;/ And yet the very day they w...

My Soul is a Stiff Pageant (15)

My soul is a stiff pageant, man by man,/ Of some Egyptian art than Egypt older,/ Found in some tomb whose rite no guess can scan,/ Where all things else to coloured dust did moulder./ Whate'er its se...

The Untouching Memory of Touch (16)

Thought was born blind, but Thought knows what is seeing./ Its careful touch, deciphering forms from shapes,/ Still suggests form as aught whose proper being/ Mere finding touch with erring darkness ...

Feeling Remember (17)

When in the widening circle of rebirth/ To a new flesh my travelled soul shall come,/ And try again the unremembered earth/ With the old sadness for the immortal home,/ Shall I revisit these same dif...

Beauty and Love Let no one Separate (18)

Beauty and love let no one separate,/ Whom exact Nature did to each ocher fit,/ Giving to Beauty love as finishing fate/ And to Love beauty as true colour of it./ Let he but friend be who the soul fi...

The Thinker Emptily Wise (19)

Indefinite space, which, by co-substance night,/ In one black mystery two void mysteries blends;/ The stray stars, whose innumerable light/ Repeats one mystery till conjecture ends;/ The stream of ti...

Truer is Love than either Lover (20)

My love, and not I, is the egoist./ My love for thee loves itself more than thee;/ Ay, more than me, in whom it doth exist,/ And makes me live that it may feed on me./ In the country of bridges the b...
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays