Álvaro de Campos Quotes
“It’s the poet we love in Caeiro, not the philosopher. What we really get from these poems is a childlike sense of life, with all the direct materiality of the child’s mind, and all the vital spirituality of hope and increase that exist in the body and soul of nescient childhood. Caeiro’s work is a dawn that wakes us up and quickens us; a more that material, more than anti-spiritual dawn. It’s an abstract effect, pure vacuum, nothingness.”
“But what you’re calling poetry is what everything is. It’s not even poetry — it’s seeing. These materialists are blind. You told me they say space is infinite. Where do they see that in space?”
And I, disconcerted: “But don’t you think of space as infinite? Can’t you conceive of space as infinite?”
“I don’t conceive of anything as being infinite. How could I conceive of anything as being infinite?”
“But, man,” I said, “Imagine space. Beyond that space is more space, and beyond that more, and then more, and more... It never ends...“
“Why?” asked my master Caeiro.”
“Do I believe a thing has limits!? Of course! Nothing exists that doesn’t have limits. Existence means there’s always something else, and so everything has limits. Why is it so hard to conceive that a thing is a thing, and that it isn’t always being some other thing that’s beyond it?”
At that moment I felt in my bones not that I was talking to a man, but to another universe. I tried one last time, from another angle, which I felt compelled to consider legitimate.
“Look, Caeiro... think about numbers... Where do they end? Take any number — say 34. Past it we have 35, 36, 37, 38 — there can be no end to it. There is no number so big that there is no number larger...“
“But that’s just numbers,” protested my master Caeiro.
And then, looking at me out of his formidable, childlike eyes:
“What is 34 in Reality, anyway?”
“he woman Caeiro fell in love with. I have no idea who she was, and I intend to never find out, not even out of curiosity. There are things of which the soul refuses to lose its ignorance.
I’m perfectly aware no one’s obliged to reciprocate love, and great poets have nothing to do with being great lovers. But there’s a transcendent spite...
Let her remain anonymous even to God!”
“Ah, seja como fôr, seja para onde fôr, partir!
Largar por aí fora, pelas ondas, pelo perigo, pelo mar,
Ir para Longe, ir para Fóra, para a Distância Abstrata,
Indefinidamente, pelas noites misteriosas e fundas,
Levado, como a poeira, plos ventos, plos vendavais!
Ir, ir, ir, ir de vez!
Todo o meu sangue raiva por asas!
Todo o meu corpo atira-se para a frente!
Galgo pla minha imaginação fora em torrentes!
Atropelo-me, fujo, precipito me!...
Estoiram em espuma as minhas ânsias
E a minha carne é uma onda dando de encontro a rochêdos!”
Estou cansado, é claro,
Porque, a certa altura, a gente tem que estar cansado.
De que estou cansado, não sei:
De nada me serviria sabê-lo,
Pois o cansaço fica na mesma.
A ferida dói como dói
E não em função da causa que a produziu.
Sim, estou cansado,
E um pouco sorridente
De o cansaço ser só isto —
Uma vontade de sono no corpo,
Um desejo de não pensar na alma,
E por cima de tudo uma transparência lúcida
Do entendimento retrospectivo...
E a luxúria única de não ter já esperanças?
Sou inteligente; eis tudo.
Tenho visto muito e entendido muito o que tenho visto,
E há um certo prazer até no cansaço que isto nos dá,
Que afinal a cabeça sempre serve para qualquer coisa.”
Álvaro de Campos
- Description: A heteronym of Fernando Pessoa.Álvaro de Campos was born in Tavira on October 15th 1890 at 1.30 pm.He had a normal high school education; and was later sent to Scotland to study Engineering, first mechanical, then naval. A holiday trip to the East resulted in the Opiário. An uncle from the Beiras region of Portugal, who was a priest, taught him Latin.Vaguely Jewish-Portuguese, pale olive skin, straight hair, usually side parted, wore a monocle.In his letter, source for this text, to Adolfo Casais Monteiro, dated Janeiro 13th 1935, Fernando Pessoa writes on the birth of heteronomy as Campos, "when I felt a sudden impulse to write and didn’t know what of", he then adds "suddenly and moving in opposite direction to Ricardo Reis, a different character impetuously emerged. In a flash, at the typewriter, free of interruption or revision, Alvaro Campos' Triumphal Ode was born — the Ode of this name and the man of the man he was."A little further he clarifies: "When Orpheu was published, I needed something, at the last minute, to achieve the number of pages. Sá-Carneiro therefore suggested I wrote and "old" poem by Álvaro de Campos written before meeting Caeiro and being influenced by him. I therefore wrote Opiário, where I tried to apply all of Alvaro de Campos’ latent tendencies by which he would later come to be known for, but omitting any trace of contact from his master Caeiro. It was one of the hardest poems I have ever written, due to the double effort of depersonalization that I had to develop. But, oh well, I think it came out alright, a budding Álvaro…"