I Have More Souls Than One (PENGUIN MODERN) Paperback – February 22, 2018
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- ASIN : 024133960X
- Publisher : PENGUIN UK (February 22, 2018)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 9780241339602
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241339602
- Item Weight : 1.62 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.37 x 6.3 inches
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Many of the poems are short, covering a single page, although others are considerably longer. Many take their title from the first part of the first line. Were these originally untitled? The book is divided into four sections: Pessoa as Alberto Caiero, Pessoa as Ricardo Reis, Pessoa as Álvaro de Campos, and finally Pessoa as Pessoa. Many of the poems are dated and these dates seem to cluster around the time of the First World War or the late twenties to early thirties. Some are dated in the year of his death in 1935. All the poems can all be found in Selected Poems in the Penguin Modern Classics series. The title of the book is from the poem “Legion Live in Us” (1).
Pessoa as Alberto Caeiro contains three poems: “from The Keeper of Sheep” (8 pages), “The Water Gurgles” (1/2 page) and “”If, After I Die” (1 page) (2). Pessoa as Ricardo Reis contains eleven poems. Many of these concern the old classical world. Thus there are titles such as “Apollo’s Chariot Has Rolled”, “The Roses of the Gardens of Adonis” and “The Gods Do Not Consent”. Pessoa as Álvaro de Campos contains four poems: “Tobacconist’s” (8 ½ pages), “I Have a Terrible Cold” (1 page), “Newton’s Binomial Theory” (1/2 page) (3) and “I Am Tired” (1 page). Pessoa as Pessoa contains eleven poems, mostly short, including “Should Somebody One Day” (4).
(1) Legion Live in Us (Pessoa as Richardo Reis, page 28).
Legion live in us;
I think or feel and don’t know
Who is thinking, feeling.
I am merely the place
Where thinking or feeling is.
I have more souls than one.
There are more ‘I’s than myself.
And still I exist
Indifferent to all.
I silence them: I speak.
(2) If, after I die, they should want to write my biography
There’s nothing simpler.
I’ve just two dates – of my birth, and of my death.
In between the one thing and the other all the days are mine.
(3) “Newton’s Binomial Theory” is very short and very odd:
Newton’s binomial theory is as beautiful as the Venus of Milo.
The fact is, precious few people care.
0! 0! 0! 0! --- 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! --- 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0! 0!
(The wind out there.)
(4) Should somebody one day knock at your door
Announcing he’s an emissary of mine,
Never believe him, not that it is I;
For to knock does not go with my vainglory,
Even at the unreal door of the sky.
But should you, naturally and without hearing
Anyone knock, come to your door, unbar it
And find somebody waiting (it appears)
To dare to knock, give it some thought. It was
My emissary and I and the retinue of my glorying
In what drives to despair and what despairs.
Unbar to who does not knock at your door!