Message, published by Lisbon Poets, is one of the greatest poems in the whole of Portuguese literature, was Fernando Pessoa’s only book written in Portuguese to be published during his lifetime.
It is out of an atmosphere of general European decline, and with unwavering focus on his own country in particular, that Pessoa orchestrates his Message: a telling of the great events and protagonists behind the genesis of Portugal, of the golden age of maritime discovery and of subsequent national entropy, all of it predictive and flowing towards the future construction of a new and different empire: the Fifth Empire, which, in the author’s vision, would be a matrix of spirituality, messianism and millenarianism.
Introduced and annotated by António Apolinário Lourenço, the present bilingual edition of Message offers to its readers both a guide for understanding and an interpretation of the poem in light of the history of Portugal and the doctrines of esoteric and heterodox Christianity, all of which played a central role in the intellectual education of Fernando Pessoa.
Writer: Fernando Pessoa / Illustrations: Fatinha Ramos
Publisher: Lisbon Poets & Co