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Fernando Pessoa: The Bilingual Portuguese Poet

 | 
Anne Terlinden

Section 1. Outlook on the world

Chapter 2. Solitude

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Why does Pessoa always feel so awkward in the company of his human brothers? The bilingual poet paints himself wandering forever in search of peace, even though he is conscious that his life will never be anything other than "a lone shore struck by the sea" (The Mad Fiddler, Summer Moments I, ESP. 31-30) "in a lunar land lone" (The Mad Fiddler, I feel pale..., ESP. 31-13). This isolation comes out clearly in the Portuguese heteronyms too.

Fernando Pessoa compares the beating heart of this ever-wandering being to the lingering rhythm of his village clock whose plaintive tolling sounds as sad as his life’s account:

Ó sino da minha aldeia,
Dolente da tarde calma,
Cada tua badalada
Soa dentro da minha alma.

E é tão lento o teu soar,
Tão como triste da vida,

...
Por mais que me tenjas perto
Quando passo, sempre errante
1
(Pessoa,
Ó sino da minha aldeia)

In the solitude of the night, the poet feels as if left out of human life, although always deeply attracted by "life’s complexity". Alvaro de Campos,...

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