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Fernando Pessoa: The Bilingual Portuguese Poet

 | 
Anne Terlinden

Section 1. Outlook on the world

Chapter 5. Poetic Knowledge

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We already know that the poet has been given particular gifts. Even though his visionary powers allow him to describe himself as an "imperfect shadow of a God"1, this will not prevent him from always remaining torn between his human condition and his calling to Infinity. As a matter of fact his poetic vision is very close to a magic charm allowing him to grasp the true meaning of the confused world around him, which otherwise is hidden from the eyes of simple human beings. The poet is sometimes described as a magician controlling events by his mysterious tricks and charms:

Minha varinha, com que da vontade
Falava às existências essenciais
2
(Pessoa, O Último Sortilégio)

This "real sight like God’s" has a magical quality, which is often suggested in The Mad Fiddler. A whole fairy world and imagery is used to describe the privileged relationschip between the poet and the essence of things. In this respect, Pessoa’s poem "O Último Sortilégio" could be compared with the first book of The Ma...

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