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Inspirational quotes by Fernando Pessoa from The Book of Disquiet and on themes such as life, success, potential and other things.

94 Inspirational Quotes By Fernando Pessoa, The Author Of The Book Of Disquiet

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Born On
13 June 1888 AD

Died On
30 November 1935 AD

Born In
Lisbon, Portugal

Died At Age
47

Fernando Pessoa was one of the most powerful figures of the Portuguese literary world who significantly contributed to Portuguese literature of the 20th century. He was a poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher. His expansive fictional journal was not just belted out under his own name but under seventy-five other pseudonyms that he created for his works. Pessoa preferred calling them heteronyms as he believed that the word pseudonym did not capture the true essence or independent intellectual life of the names. Much unlike other notable writers who used literary personas, Pessoa gave his heteronyms a full life separate from his own, assigning each persona’s psychology, aesthetics, and politics. Coming to Pessoa’s works, during his lifetime, most of Pessoa’s considerable creative output appeared only in journals, and he published just three collections of poetry in English, ‘Antinous’, ‘Sonnets’ and ‘English Poems’. Other than this, he came up with one collection in Portuguese titled, ‘Mensagem’. However, Pessoa’s brilliance as a writer can be felt in his quotes that touch various aspects of life, such as happiness, contentment, failure, solitude, yearning, hope, regret, dreams, living, and so on. Explore this section and find out some of the most famous quotes by Fernando Pessoa.   

I asked for very little from life, and even this little was denied me.

- Fernando Pessoa

I crave time in all its duration, and I want to be myself unconditionally.

- Fernando Pessoa

We live by action—by acting on desire. Those of us who don't know how to want—whether geniuses or beggars—are related by impotence.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Vivo sempre no presente. O futuro, no o conheo. O passado, j o no tenho.

- Fernando Pessoa

A liberdade a possibilidade do isolamento. Se te impossvel viver s, nasceste escravo.

- Fernando Pessoa

FIRST WATCHER Why do people die? SECOND WATCHER Perhaps because they don't dream enough...

- The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

The chill of what I won't feel gnaws at my present heart.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Pg 9, "The consciousness of life's unconsciousness is the oldest tax levied on the intelligence.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Ah, what a morning this is, awakening me to life's stupidity. [98 - Zenith trans.]

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

From so much self-revising, I’ve destroyed myself. From so much self-thinking, I’m now my thoughts and not I

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

To love is to tire of being alone; it is therefore a cowardice, a betrayal of ourselves.

- Fernando Pessoa

Everything interests me, but nothing holds me.

- Fernando Pessoa

I never had anyone I could call “Master”. No Christ died for me. No Buddha showed me the right path. In the depths of my dreams no Apollo or Athena appeared to me to enlighten my soul

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I am nothing. I will never be anything. I cannot wish to be anything. Bar that, I have in me all the dreams of the world.

- Fernando Pessoa

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

- Fernando Pessoa

I'm the empty stage where various actors act out various plays.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- Fernando Pessoa

There's something vile (and all the more vile because ridiculous) in the tendency of feeble men to make universal tragedies out of the sad comedies of their private woes.

- Fernando Pessoa

Tenho amigos para saber quem eu sou.

- Fernando Pessoa

‎أريد أن أصلي وأبكي، وأتوب عن جرائم لم اقترفها، أن أستمتع بكوني معفوا عني

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Pg.9 "In my heart there's a peaceful anguish, and my calm is made of resignation.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

To act—that is true wisdom. I can be what I want to be, but I have to want whatever it is. Success consists in being successful, not in having the potential for success.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Again I see you, But me I don't see!, The magical mirror in which I saw myself has been broken, And only a piece of me I see in each fatal fragment - Only a piece of you and me!...

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

Everything I sought in life I abandoned for the sake of the search. I'm like one who absentmindedly looks for he doesn't know what, having forgotten it in his dreaming as the search got under way.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

We, all who live, have A life that is lived And another life that is thought, And the only life we have It's the one that is divided In right or wrong.

- Fernando Pessoa

Life is whatever we conceive it to be.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Life is full of paradoxes, as roses are of thorns.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Let us sculpt in hopeless silence all our dreams of speaking.

- Fernando Pessoa

Everything is theater.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

This world is for those who are born to conquer it, Not for those who dream that are able to conquer it, even if they're right.

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

My boredom with everything has numbed me.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I realize that I was all error and deviation, that I never lived, that I existed only in so far as I filled time with consciousness and thought.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes to where life is not painful; nor is there a port of call where it is possible to forget.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Writing is like paying myself a formal visit…

- Fernando Pessoa

To love is to tire of being alone; it is therefore a cowardice, a betrayal of ourselves. (It is exceedingly important that we not love.)

- Fernando Pessoa

…to know how to think with emotions and to feel with intellect…

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Today I suddenly experienced an absurd but quite valid sensation. I realized, in an intimate lightning flash, that I am no one. No one, absolutely no one.

- Fernando Pessoa

I don't mourn the loss of my childhood; I mourn because everything, including (my) childhood, is lost.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I know nothing and my heart aches

- Fernando Pessoa

What Hells and Purgatories and Heavens I have inside of me! But who sees me do anything that disagrees with life--me, so calm and peaceful?

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Blessed are those who entrust their lives to no one.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I am the escaped one, After I was born They locked me up inside me But I left. My soul seeks me, Through hills and valley, I hope my soul Never finds me.

- Fernando Pessoa

What has happened to us has happened to everyone or only us; if to everyone, then it's no novelty, and if only to us, then it won't be understood. From, The Book of Disquiet

- Fernando Pessoa

The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own

- Fernando Pessoa

Without madness what is man But a wholesome beast, Postponed corpse that begets?

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

At first I felt dizzy - not with the kind of dizziness that makes the body reel but the kind that's like a dead emptiness in the brain, an instinctive awareness of the void.

- The Education of the Stoic, Fernando Pessoa

Inch by inch I conquered the inner terrain I was born with. Bit by bit I reclaimed the swamp in which I'd languished. I gave birth to my infinite being, but I had to wrench myself out of me with forceps.

- Fernando Pessoa

Lord, may the pain be ours, And the weakness that it brings, But at least give us the strength, Of not showing it to anyone!

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- Fernando Pessoa

I sometimes think that I enjoy suffering. But the truth is I would prefer something else.

- Fernando Pessoa

Whether or not they exist we are slaves to our gods.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

And, like the great damned souls, I shall always feel that thinking is worth more than living.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Be what I think? But I think of being so many things!

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Every gesture is a revolutionary act.

- Fernando Pessoa

Tudo vale a pena quando a alma no pequena

- Fernando Pessoa

There are no norms. All people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist.

- Fernando Pessoa

Se te impossvel viver s, nasceste escravo.

- Fernando Pessoa

I carry my awareness of defeat like a banner of victory.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

To be understood is to prostitute oneself

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

But do we really live? To live without knowing what life is - is that living?

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Having never discovered qualities in myself that might attract someone else, I could never believe that anyone felt attracted to me.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- Fernando Pessoa

I don't know what I feel or what I want to feel. I don't know what to think or what I am.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

...the painful intensity of my sensations, even when they're happy ones; the blissful intensity of my sensations, even when they're sad.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

The inventor of the mirror poisoned the human heart.

- Fernando Pessoa

Friends: not one. Just a few acquaintances who imagine they feel something for me and who might be sorry if a train ran over me and the funeral was on a rainy day.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

Life is what we make of it. Travel is the traveler. What we see isn't what we see but what we are.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- Fernando Pessoa

The essence of what I desire is simply this: to sleep away life.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

But I am not perfect in my way of putting things Because I lack the divine simplicity Of being only what I appear to be.

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

Ah, it's my longing for whom I might have been that distracts and torments me!

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I'm sick of everything, and of the everythingness of everything.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- Libro del desasosiego, Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- Fernando Pessoa

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.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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!

- Fernando Pessoa

I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.

- Fernando Pessoa

I wasn’t meant for reality, but life came and found me.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

No sou nada. Nunca serei nada. No posso querer ser nada. parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundo.

- Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

I am nothing. I'll never be anything. I couldn't want to be something. Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams in the world.

- Fernando Pessoa

In order to understand, I destroyed myself.

- Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

My past is everything I failed to be.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

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

- Fernando Pessoa

Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa