Monday, June 4, 2012

A Remedy for Being Art-ed Out: Fernando Pessoa

Sometimes there is just too much art in one’s life. I am thoroughly art-ed out.  My brain and body have gone kaput.  This is not a bad problem to have but for the rest of the day I am going to turn off my brain, fold laundry and make a decent meal for myself.  Because of this, the only thing I can muster for today are a few poems by the Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa.  For those that like to rue and woo life, he is a comforting fellow who is forgiving in his accessibility.  Also, he uses an intriguingly curious device in which he creates heteronyms, distinct other selves with different names, tones and biographies in which he writes through/with/parallel too.  This is a wonderful idea, to have in possession other-selves within oneself that are unique and distinct.  This is something that should be used in art and life more often.  It would make things wonderfully chaotic and more honest.

I Study Myself But Can’t Perceive – Lisbon, August 1913 (as Alvaro de Campos)

I study myself but can’t perceive.
I’m so addicted to feeling that
I lose myself if I’m distracted
From the sensations I receive.

This liquor I drink, the air I breath,
Belong to the very way I exist:
I’ve never discovered how to resist
These hapless sensations I conceive.

Nor have I ever ascertained
If I really feel what I feel.
Am I what I seem to myself - the same?

Is the I I feel the I that’s real?
Even with feelings I’m a bit of an atheist.
I don’t even known if it’s I who feels.

The Sun Shining Over The Field – August 21, 1930 (as himself)

The sun shinning over the field
Perhaps could be the remedy…
I dislike those who like me;
To be loved is for me a tedium.

I want only the simple kiss
Given by light when it gleams,
And the impersonal, abstract love
Of fields when their flowers bloom.

The rest is people and soul
To complicate, talk, and see.
It robs me of dreams and my calm,
And is never what is seems.

Want Little: You’ll Have Everything – November 1, 1930 (as himself)

Want little: you’ll have everything.
Want nothing: you’ll be free.
The same love by which we’re loved
Oppresses us with its wanting.