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

The most uplifting Fernando Pessoa quotes that will transform you to a better person

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


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 slope takes you to the windmill, but effort takes you nowhere.


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.


Everything interests me, but nothing holds me.


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.


I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.


I’ve dreamed a lot. I’m tired now from dreaming but not tired of dreaming. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything.


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


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


We worship perfection because we can't have it;

if we had it, we would reject it. Perfection is inhuman, because humanity is imperfect.


There is a time when it is necessary to abandon the used clothes, which already have the shape of our body and to forget our paths, which takes us always to the same places. This is the time to cross the river: and if we don't dare to do it, we will have stayed, forever beneath ourselves


About Fernando Pessoa

Quotes 304 sayings
Nationality Portuguese
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.


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


Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.


Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself.


Have you ever considered, beloved other, how invisible we are to each other? We look at each other without seeing. We listen to each other and hear only a voice inside out self. The words of others are mistakes of our hearing, shipwrecks of our understanding. How confidently we believe OUR meanings of other people's words.


I suffer from life and from other people.

I can’t look at reality face to face. Even the sun discourages and depresses me. Only at night and all alone, withdrawn, forgotten and lost, with no connection to anything real or useful — only then do I find myself and feel comforted.


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


Stones in the road? I save every single one, and one day I'll build a castle.


Sometimes, when I wake up at night, I feel invisible hands weaving my destiny.


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


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


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


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


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.


Strength without agility is a mere mass.


In order to understand, I destroyed myself.


My happiest hours are those in which I think nothing, want nothing, when I do not even dream, but lose myself in some spurious vegetable torpor, moss growing on the surface of life. Without a trace of bitterness I savour my absurd awareness of being nothing, a mere foretaste of death and extinction.


Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.


Nostalgia! I feel it even for someone who meant nothing to me, out of anxiety for the flight of time and a sickness bred of the mystery of life. If one of the faces I pass daily on the streets disappears, I feel sad; yet they meant nothing to me, other than being a symbol of all life.


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


I am the outskirts of some non-existent town, the long-winded prologue to an unwritten book. I'm nobody, nobody. I don't know how to feel or think or love. I'm a character in a novel as yet unwritten, hovering in the air and undone before I've even existed, amongst the dreams of someone who never quite managed to breath life into me.


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


If I write what I feel, it's to reduce the fever of feeling.

What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant.


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.


For who expects nothing, all that comes is grateful


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


Decadence is the total loss of unconsciousness, which is the very basis of life.

Could it think, the heart would stop beating.


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. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while.


We all have two lives: The true, the one we dreamed of in childhood And go on dreaming of as adults in a substratum of mist; the false, the one we love when we live with others, the practical, the useful, the one we end up by being put in a coffin.


I believe that saying a thing is to keep its virtues and take away its terror.


Oh salty sea, how much of your salt Is tears from Portugal?


My soul's the present shadow of a presence gone.


There's a non-existent peace in the uncertain quietness


I search and can't find myself. I belong in chrysanthemum time, sharp in calla lily elongations. God made my soul into an ornamental thing.


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.


Every spoken word double-crosses us. The written word is the only tolerable form of communication, as it isn't a stone in a bridge between souls but a ray of light between stars.


The inventor of the mirror poisoned the human heart.