Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems

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James Hannaham Takes on the Many Faces of Fernando Pessoa

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At Bookforum, James Hannaham recounts his experience reading the poetry of Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet who wrote under 75 different names throughout his career. “I’m often motivated to write by what makes me mad; in this case I felt compelled to pen a rebuttal to every last poem in Fernando Pessoa & Co,” Hannaham writes. “I knew that directing outrage toward Caeiro’s emphatically superficial spirituality would be like shadowboxing, but to me that made the prospect more attractive. I would wrestle with ideas instead of venting against some real human and accusing him of various reprehensible isms. Everyone else seemed to be doing that, anyway.”

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