Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Pessoa, Fernando
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(pĕs'wä), 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 Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles

Full text Article Pessoa, Fernando
Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism

Pessoa Fernando , * 13 Jun 1888 (Lisbon) , † 30 Jan 1935 (Lisbon) Portuguese poet and esotericist. After the death of his father when he...

Full text Article Pessoa, Fernando (1888 - 1935)
Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, Routledge

Pessoa was born into a middle-class Lisbon family of mixed Jewish, aristocratic and Azorean descent. His father died when he...

Full text Article Pessoa, Fernando António Nogueira
Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1888-1935 Portuguese poet Born in Lisbon and educated in South Africa, he studied at Lisbon University, worked as a commercial translator and founded

See more from Credo