Fernando Pessoa Quotes

Fernando Pessoa

No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.

To choose ways of not acting was ever the concern and scruple of my life.

To feel today what one felt yesterday isn’t to feel – it’s to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today’s living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost.

All is worthwhile if the soul is not small.

Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there’s no palace till it’s built.

At first, it’s unfamiliar, then it strikes root.

Could it think, the heart would stop beating.

Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.

Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.

Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful.

I’ve always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself. I prefer to be taken seriously for what I’m not, remaining humanly unknown, with naturalness and all due respect

My past is everything I failed to be.

My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while. I’m two, and both keep their distance – Siamese twins that aren’t attached.

I’d woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist.

The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur. That is why there are unforgettable moments and unique people!

We never love anyone. What we love is the idea we have of someone. It’s our own concept – our own selves—that we love.

Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality – it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself.

If I write what I feel, it’s to reduce the fever of feeling. What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant.

My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.

To have opinions is to sell out to youself. To have no opinions is to exist. To have every opinion is to be a poet.

I feel as if I’m always on the verge of waking up.

We all have two lives: The true, the one we dreamed of in childhood And go on dreaming of as adults in a substratum of mist; the false, the one we love when we live with others, the practical, the useful, the one we end up by being put in a coffin.

In order to understand, I destroyed myself.

I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life.

I’m losing my taste for everything, including even my taste for finding everything tasteless.

Every gesture is a revolutionary act.

I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.

If after I die, people want to write my biography, there is nothing simpler. They only need two dates: the date of my birth and the date of my death. Between one and another, every day is mine.

Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily.

To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

To know nothing about yourself is to live. To know yourself badly is to think.

We worship perfection because we can’t have it; if we had it, we would reject it. Perfection is inhuman, because humanity is imperfect.

We are two abysses – a well staring at the sky.

Whether or not they exist, we’re slaves to the gods.

Strength without agility is a mere mass.

The train slows down, it’s the Cais do SodrĂ©. I arrived to Lisbon, but not to a conclusion.

Fraternity has subtleties.

I believe that saying a thing is to keep its virtues and take away its terror.

I pass times, I pass silences, formless worlds pass me by.

Yes, talking to people makes me sleepy.

The beauty of a naked body is felt only by the dressed races.

The consciousness of life’s unconsciousness is intelligence’s oldest tax.

You breathe better when you’re rich.

My joy is as painful as my pain.

I always live in the present. The future I can’t know. The past I no longer have.

To be understood is to prostitute yourself.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been me.

What is art but the denial of life?

Enthusiasm is rude.

My homeland is the portuguese language.

Smell is a strange sight. It evokes sentimental landscapes through a sudden sketching of the subconscious.

If you cannot live alone, you were born a slave.

Sailing is necessary, living is not necessary.

I don’t write in Portuguese. I write myself.

Property isn’t theft: it’s nothing.