Fernando Pessoa: Correspondence part III.

June 16, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

9 October 1929

Terrible Baby:

I like your letters, which are sweet, and I like you, because you’re sweet too. And you’re candy, and you’re a wasp, and you’re honey, which comes from bees and not wasps, and everything’s just fine, and Baby should always write me, even when I don’t, which is always, and I’m sad, and I’m crazy ,and no one likes me, and why should they, and that’s exactly right, ande verything goes back to the beginning, and I think  I’ll call you today, and I’d like to kiss you precisely and voraciously on the lips, and to eat your lips and whatever little kisses you’re hiding there, and to lean on your shoulder and slide into the softness of your little doves, and to beg your pardon, and the pardon to be make-believe, and to do it over and over and period until I start again, and why do you like a scoundrel and a troll and a fat slob with a face like a fas meter and the expression of someone who’s not there but in the toilet next door, and indeed, and finally, and I’m going to stop becuase I’m insane, and I always have been, it’s from birth, which is to say ever since I was born, and I wish Baby were m y doll so I could do like a child, taking off her clothes, and I’ve reached the end of the page, and this doesn’t seem like it could be written by a human being, but it was written by me.



you can read more about this poet by going here, however I noticed a discrepancy between the facts on this website and the facts in my book (The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, Grove Press 2001); my book says Pessoa died one month after the break up with Ophelia, while the web site suggests that Pessoa and Ophelia met again after nine years.

Meanwhile, [Pessoa’s] imaginary friends grow up into a pantheon of poets, with the four major heteronyms listed above, various other semiheteronyms, and some poets appearing only once or twice. As far as is known, he died a virgin; he did take up with one Ophelia Queiroz when he was 31 and she 19 — she also wrote to some of the heteronyms. After six months Pessoa broke it off, saying that he was not like other humans, followed a different Law. They reconnected, briefly, nine years later. Ophelia recalls that once he kissed her on a bus.

When Pessoa died in 1935, he left behind a steamer trunk brimful of manuscripts — 27,543, to be exact, written by some 86 different poets, male, female, young, old. Some of his heteronyms inspired others, wrote criticism of others; a few preceded Pessoa in death, and then, occasionally, some new poems would be found posthumously; the heteronyms founded many schools of poetry; they traveled the world, with many adventures, homosexual, polysexual; they wrote scholarly theses; they had lives and loves. The papers in the trunk are studied like an archaeological dig.


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