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Collector's Editions


Fernando Pessoa

ISBN: 0000000003175



5 500,00€

This first edition of Mensagem is a rare jewel of Portuguese poetry with only 600 copies believed to have ever been printed. Comprising 44 poems written by Fernando Pessoa, this was published on 1 December 1934, a symbolic date that marks the Restoration of Portugal's Independence (1640), and just one year before the death of the man who remains one of the most renowned Portuguese poets. The bound copy retains the characteristic yellow paperback cover. This "little book of poems", as the author called it, celebrates the glories of Portugal, its heroes, and its myths. Fernando Pessoa adopted the title Mensagem (Message) in keeping with the Latin expression "Mens agitat molem", which means "The spirit animates matter", a phrase taken from Virgil's Aeneid. In the very year of its publication, the work won the recently established Antero de Quental Award, attributed by the Secretariat of National Propaganda, in the category of "poem or loose poetry". The decision to relegate Fernando Pessoa's work to this "secondary category", on the pretext that it contained less than 100 pages, was not to the pleasing the Secretariat’s Director, António Ferro, editor of two issues of Orpheu magazine in 1915, who thus decided to match the value of the prize to the five thousand escudos awarded in the "poetry" category.