It is a tradition in Lisbon, whether city folks or foreigners, everybody wants to take a picture sitting next to the famous Portuguese poet.
Fernando Pessoa (Lisbon, 1888-1935) is probably the most famous Portuguese poet. He is not only a symbol of Lisbon and Portugal but also of the Portuguese language, the 6th most spoken language in the world.
Fernando Pessoa was a very complex writer and his work is studied by many people throughout the world. He did something very unique, he invented the heteronyms.
The heteronyms were like other poets in himself, different people with different names, different lives and writing styles. They were not pseudonyms. They were so real, that Fernando Pessoa created their entire life stories, birth dates and signatures, and even created their astral maps! The most known are Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos.
You can find Fernando Pessoa’s statue in the heart of Lisbon, Chiado, outside the popular coffee shop, A Brasileira, where he drank many coffees during his life. I don’t know if it was intended, but the statue even has an empty chair next to the poet where you can sit. It is a photo opportunity no one resists to, so prepare to fight for your turn!
Would you like to read some of Fernando Pessoa’s writings? You can find his published work here.