Pessoa, Fernando (pĕsˈwä) [key], 1888–1935, Portuguese poet, b. Lisbon. Reflecting the influence of both the classical tradition and French symbolism, his poetry moves from saudosismo, or nostalgia for a mythic past, to an increasing concern with consciousness and sensation. He is famous for having written under 73 different names. Four of these (his own, Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, and Álvaro de Campos) are well known. Each of these personas has his own putative biography, physical characteristics, relationship to the others, poetic voice, and outlook, and in part reflects Pessoa's disbelief in the idea of an integrated personality. Among Pessoa's collections, which include poems in English, are Sonnets (1918), English Poems (1922), and Mensagem (1934).
See selected poems tr. by J. Griffin, E. Honig, and P. Rickard (each 1971), and by J. Greene and C. de Azevedo Mafra (1986); selected prose tr. by E. Honig (1971) and A. MacAdam (1991); A Centenary Pessoa (1995), an anthology ed. by E. Lisboa and L. C. Taylor; collections of critical essays ed. by G. Monteiro (1982) and B. McGuirk (1988).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese Literature: Biographies