Pessoa is just beginning to earn the reputation he deserves in this country as a major modernist poet as great and original as Rilke, Yeats, Eliot, etc. Pessoa created a constellation of heteronyms or alter egos and proceeded to create a body of poetry for each. Following Pessoa's novel The Books of Disquiet, comes this volume of the complete work (and some delightful writings in praise of) Alberto Caeiro, a pastoral shepherd-poet, "authentic" and close to nature who died young and exerted a profound influence on Pessoa's other two great poets, the avant garde Alvaro de Campos and classical Ricardo Reis.
A bilingual companion to The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa
Here, in Margaret Jull Costa and Patricio Ferrari’s splendid new translations, are the complete poems of Alberto Caeiro, the imaginary “heteronym” coterie created by Fernando Pessoa, the Portuguese modernist master. Pessoa conceived Caeiro around 1914 and may have named him loosely after his friend, the poet Mário de Sa-Cárrneiro. What followed was a collection of some of Fernando Pessoa’s greatest poems, grouped under the titles The Keeper of Sheep, The Shepherd in Love, and Uncollected Poems. This imaginary author was a shepherd who spent most of his life in the countryside, had almost no education, and was ignorant of most literature; yet he (Pessoa) wrote some of the most beautiful and profound poems in Portuguese literature. This edition of The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro is based on the magnificent Portuguese Tinta-da-China edition, published in Lisbon in 2016, and contains an illuminating introduction by the Portuguese editors Jerónimo Pizarro and Patricio Ferrari, some facsimiles of the original Portuguese texts, and prose excerpts about Caeiro and his work written by Fernando Pessoa well as his other heteronyms Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis, and other fictitious authors such as Antonio Mora and I. I. Crosse.
About the Author
Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935), the Portuguese poet, literary critic, and essayist, is one of the most significant literary figures of the twentieth century. He wrote not only under his own name but under over a hundred others (including Alexander Search, Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis, and Bernardo Soares).
For her translations of Spanish and Portuguese, Margaret Jull Costa has won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize four times as well as the Premio Valle-Inclán, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the 2008 PEN Prize for best translation from any language for The Maias, by Eça de Queirós (New Directions, 2007).
A poet, translator, and editor, Patricio Ferrari has translated the works of Fernando Pessoa and Alejandra Pizarnik, among others.
Jerónimo Pizarro is a professor at the Universidad de los Andes and editor-in-chief of Pessoa Plural—A Journal of Fernando Pessoa Studies.
As searing as Rilke or Mandelstam. — New York Times
Pessoa invented numerous alter egos. Arguably, the four greatest poets in the Portuguese language were all Pessoa using different names. — NPR
Here we finally see these poems as they ought to be seen... When I read Pessoa (in his own voice and in the voices of his heteronyms), what I am left with, rather than answers, or even questions, is a feeling, the embarrassment of a genuine sensation, one I might sheepishly call love. — Poetry Foundation
Pessoa’s amazing personality is as beguiling
and mysterious as his unique poetic output. — William Boyd