Introduction: "Message" ("Mensagem") is 's the best known book. It is a small book, with 44 poems describing the Portuguese coat of arms symbolically, and the only published (1934) in his life, excepting for two self-published books of poems in English under the youth pseudonym of Alexander Search. It glorifies the symbolic value of Discoverers, pities Portugal's sorry state and exhorts to a new, spiritual revolution, within the ideas ofand the . To the portuguese, the best known poem is Mar Portugu .
: Bernardo Soares, Auxiliary book-keeper in Lisbon and a perfectionist without a real life. He lived in a small apartment in the Rua dos Douradores, and all he had in life was "a few accounting books and the gift of dreaming". One afternoon he was allowed to leave the office earlier to run a personal errand right there in Lisbon; the errand being completed early, he found that given the different hours Lisbon was a strange town he was unfamiliar with, and went back to the office, to the surprise of his colleagues. (Where a portuguese original quote exists, the translation into english was informal.) .
... And I, who timidly hate life, fear death with fascination. I fear this nothingness that could be something else, and I fear it as nothing and as something else simultaneously, as if gross horror and non-existence could coincide there, as if my coffin could entrap the eternal breathing of a bodily soul, as if immortality could be tormented by confinement. The idea of hell, which only a satanic soul could have invented seems to me to have derived from this sort of confusion - a mixture of two different fears that contradict and contaminate each other. .
Every day things happen in the world that cannot be explained by any law of things we know. Every day they're mentioned and forgotten, and the same mystery that brought them takes them away, transforming their secret into oblivion. Such is the law by which things that can't be explained must be forgotten. The visible world goes on as usual in the broad daylight. Otherness watches us from the shadows. .
I have now so many fundamental thoughts, so many really metaphysical things to say, that I suddenly get tired and decide not to write more, not to think more, but allow the fever of saying to make me sleepy, and fondle, with closed eyes, as if to a cat, all that I could have said. .
There's a tiredness of abstract inteligence, and it's the most horrible of tirednesses. It doesn't weight on you like the tiredness of the body, nor does it worry you like the tiredness of knowledge and emotion. It's a weightiness of the conscience of the world, an inability of the soul to breathe. .
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