FOREVER SOMEONE ELSE
When I was in Lisbon in January this was the only thing by Pessoa that I could find in English. I've been meaning to read his BOOK OF DISQUIET for years, and that's what I'd been looking for, but I'm glad that I found this collection of his poems instead. I've folded the corners of many pages and in the last three months I've read some of these poems enough times that they've already become familiar and classic and comforting to me.
While I was on my trip, Huseyin sent me the text of "The Tobacco Shop". It was a good coincidence since he happened to find the poem online and knew I would like it on the same day I bought the book, without either of us having mentioned Pessoa to each other yet. Since then we've talked about that poem and several of the others, and I like knowing that this book will always remind me of him.
Pessoa wrote under both his own name and at least four other "heteronyms" which he developed distinct personalities for, and who wrote letters to each other and reviewed each other's work. My favorite of his personas is probably Alberto Caeiro, who wrote slightly shorter poems than the others, and whose collection "The Keeper of Sheep" opens with the lines I never kept sheep, /
I'll always be the one who waited for a door to open in a wall without doors
I smoked my life. How uncertain
other books I read this month: