Fernando Pessoa quotes

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Fernando Pessoa

Birthdate: 13. June 1888
Date of death: 30. November 1935
Other names: Ֆերնանտո Բեսոա, Ferdinando Pessoa

Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. He also wrote in and translated from English and French.

Pessoa was a prolific writer, and not only under his own name, for he created approximately seventy-five others. He did not call them all pseudonyms because he felt that some did not capture their true independent intellectual life and instead called them heteronyms. These imaginary figures sometimes held unpopular or extreme views. Wikipedia

Works

The Book of Disquiet
Fernando Pessoa
Mensagem
Fernando Pessoa

„If you cannot live alone, you were born a slave.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Ibid.
The Book of Disquiet
Original: Se te é impossível viver só, nasceste escravo.

„Eat your chocolates, little girl,
Eat your chocolates!
Believe me, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates,
And all religions put together teach no more than the candy shop.
Eat, dirty little girl, eat!
If only I could eat chocolates with the same truth as you!
But I think and, removing the silver paper that's tinfoil,
I throw it all on the ground, as I've thrown out life.“

—  Fernando Pessoa

Come chocolates, pequena;
Come chocolates!
Olha que não há mais metafísica no mundo senão chocolates.
Olha que as religiões todas não ensinam mais que a confeitaria.
Come, pequena suja, come!
Pudesse eu comer chocolates com a mesma verdade com que comes!
Mas eu penso e, ao tirar o papel de prata, que é de folhas de estanho,
Deito tudo para o chão, como tenho deitado a vida.
Tabacaria (1928), trans. Richard Zenith

„The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd: the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world's existence. All these half-tones of the soul's consciousness create a raw landscape within us, a sun eternally setting on what we are.“

—  Fernando Pessoa

Os sentimentos que mais doem, as emoções que mais pungem, são os que são absurdos – a ânsia de coisas impossíveis, precisamente porque são impossíveis, a saudade do que nunca houve, o desejo do que poderia ter sido, a mágoa de não ser outro, a insatisfação da existência do mundo. Todos estes meios tons da consciencia da alma criam em nós uma paisagem dolorida, um eterno sol-pôr do que somos.
The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 196

„I've always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself. I prefer to be taken seriously for what I'm not, remaining humanly unknown, with naturalness and all due respect.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Repudiei sempre que me compreendessem. Ser compreendido é prostituir-se. Prefiro ser tomado a sério como o que não sou, ignorado humanamente, com decência e naturalidade.
Source: The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 128

„We are two abysses — a well staring at the sky.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Ibid., p. 48
The Book of Disquiet
Original: Somos dois abismos — um poço fitando o céu.

„Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

A literatura é a maneira mais agradável de ignorar a vida.
Variant: To write is to forget. Literature is the pleasantest way of ignoring life.
Source: The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 116

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„I'm nothing,
I'll always be nothing.
I can't even wish to be something.
Aside from that, I've got all the world's dreams inside me.“

—  Fernando Pessoa

Não sou nada.
Nunca serei nada.
Não posso querer ser nada.
À parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundo.
Álvaro de Campos (heteronym), Tabacaria ["The Tobacconist's" or "The Tobacco Shop"] (15 January 1928)
Variant translations:
I am nothing.
Never shall be anything.
Cannot will to be anything.
This apart, I have in me all the dreams of the world.
trans. Jonathan Griffin, in Selected Poems (Penguin Books, 1974), p. 111
I am not nothing.
I will never be nothing.
I cannot ever want to be nothing.
Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams of the world.
In Webster's New World Dictionary of Quotations (2005), p. 649
I am nothing.
I shall never be anything.
I cannot even wish to be anything.
Apart from this, I have within me all the dreams of the world.
Variant: I am nothing.
I will never be anything.
I cannot wish to be anything.
Bar that, I have in me all the dreams of the world.

„To be great, be whole; don't exaggerate
Or leave out any part of you,
Be complete in each thing. Put all you are
Into the least of your acts.
So too in each lake, with its lofty life,
The whole moon shines.“

—  Fernando Pessoa

Para ser grande, sê inteiro: nada
Teu exagera ou exclui.
Sê todo em cada coisa. Põe quanto és
No mínimo que fazes.
Assim em cada lago a lua toda
Brilha, porque alta vive.
Ricardo Reis (heteronym), Ode (14 February 1933), in A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe, trans. Richard Zenith (Penguin, 2006)
Source: Poems of Fernando Pessoa

„I take with me the conscience of defeat as a victory banner.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Ibid., p. 79
Original: Levo comigo a consciência da derrota como um pendão de vitória.
Source: The Book of Disquiet

„If, after I die, they should want to write my biography,
There's nothing simpler.
I've just two dates—of my birth, and of my death.
In between the one thing and the other all the days are mine.“

—  Fernando Pessoa

Se, depois de eu morrer, quiserem escrever a minha biografia,
Não há nada mais simples.
Tem só duas datas—a da minha nascença e a da minha morte.
Entre uma e outra coisa todos os dias são meus.
Alberto Caeiro (heteronym), "Se, depois de eu morrer" (8 November 1915), trans. Jonathan Griffin.
Source: Poems of Fernando Pessoa

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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