Monday with Pessoa: Two Players

Giorgio de Chirico, Two Heads, 1918, source: WikiPaintings

To think or to feel? Or what third thing among the stage-sets in the back?
–Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

A mover of volatile parts, placid between harsh light and dream shadow, indifferent to one as to the other, or rather out of phase with each, seemingly impassive towards physical interactions as if he were the unassailable agent of nature’s script and beyond influence. If he were to speak, his lines might be

I have lost my mother and father and have no one to share my nights with, I will never know glory or fortune and the freedom of wealth will elude me to the end of my days. All of this I can bear, but to have dreams that I cannot steward across the threshold to reality—this I cannot endure.

But he does not speak. And so he cleared the stage of his selves, including all remnants of his soul’s changes, shoved all such intrusions aside like unneeded props and ushered in the many-coated and manifold-mannered others who crossed his path now as operators of his imagination, within which he ratcheted up their conscious lives to a degree they were incapable of, with the aim of extracting beauty from failure, from lives comprised of not living, refracted via a writer’s toolbox onto the stage of the Great Play.

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3 Responses to Monday with Pessoa: Two Players

  1. Pingback: Monday with Pessoa: The Double Dream | The Mockingbird Sings

  2. Mark, there is always so much to learn in your posts–about poetry and about art. Looking at DeChirico’s art leaves me with an unsettled feeling…a perfect tie-in to Pessoa. Looking forward to seeing you this month for National Poetry Month.

  3. Susan Scheid says:

    These lines take my breath away: “And so he cleared the stage of his selves, including all remnants of his soul’s changes.”

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