Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro’ by Fernando Pessoa – Editor’s Note

A bilingual companion to The Book of Disquiet. Here, in Margaret Jull Costa and Patricio Ferrari’s splendid new translations, are the complete poems of Alberto Caeiro, the imaginary “heteronym” coterie created by Fernando Pessoa, the Portuguese modernist master. Pessoa conceived Caeiro around 1914 and may have named him loosely after his friend, the poet Mário de Sá Carneiro. What followed was a collection of some of Fernando Pessoa’s greatest poems, grouped under the titles The Keeper of Sheep, The Shepherd in Love, and Uncollected Poems. This imaginary author was a shepherd who spent most of his life in the countryside, had almost no education, and was ignorant of most literature; yet he (Pessoa) wrote some of the most beautiful and profound poems in Portuguese literature. This edition of The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro is based on the magnificent Portuguese Tinta-da-China edition, published in Lisbon in 2016, and contains an illuminating introduction by the Portuguese editors Jerónimo Pizarro and Patricio Ferrari, some facsimiles of the original Portuguese texts, and prose excerpts about Caeiro and his work written by Fernando Pessoa well as his other heteronyms Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis, and other fictitious authors such as Antonio Mora and I. I. Crosse.

“Here we finally see these poems as they ought to be seen… When I read Pessoa (in his own voice and in the voices of his heteronyms), what I am left with, rather than answers, or even questions, is a feeling, the embarrassment of a genuine sensation, one I might sheepishly call love.”- Poetry Foundation

About the Author

Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935), the Portuguese poet, literary critic, and essayist, is one of the most significant literary figures of the twentieth century. He wrote not only under his own name but under over a hundred others (including Alexander Search, Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis, and Bernardo Soares).

About the Translators

Margaret Jull Costa, an award-winning translator, lives in England. She has translated the works of many Spanish and Portuguese writers. She has won the Portuguese Translation Prize twice and been shortlisted twice. She won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Weidenfeld Translation Prize twice and the Pen Translation Prize. She has been awarded an OBE and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Patricio Ferrari is a professor at Rutgers University and has translated and edited works by Fernando Pessoa and Alejandra Pizarnik.

Jerónimo Pizarro is a professor at the Universidad de los Andes and editor-in-chief of Pessoa Plural―A Journal of Fernando Pessoa Studies.

Book Details

  • Title: The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro (Bilingual edition)
  • Author: Fernando Pessoa
  • Translator: Margaret Jull Costa, with Patricio Ferrari and Jerónimo Pizarro
  • Publisher: New Directions
  •  Date of Publication: July 28, 2020
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 320 pp


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