Skip to content

Alberto Caeiro was one of Fernando Pessoa’s five major heteronyms. Caeiro was born on April 16,1889, in Lisbon and died there in November 1915 of tuberculosis. Caeiro had little formal education and no profession to speak of, and lived most of his life in the country with an aged great-aunt. He was a bucolic poet of nature perceived directly, a pagan, and, more recendy, has been seen as objectivist and phenomenalist. O Guarda-dor de Rebanhos was Caeiro’s major work. Fernando Pessoa, considered the greatest modernist poet in Portuguese, died in Lisbon at the age of 47 in 1935. He wrote using heteronyms, complete poetic personalities / characters with different bodies of work, biographies, horoscopes, educations, professions, and aesthetics. The various heteronyms, at different times, argued with each other, developed their ideas in letters to each other, wrote memoirs about each other, influenced each other.

Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person

House of Anansi
2002 Shortlist
Canada

Judges’ Citation

Erin Moure’s Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person is wry, clever, playful and lyrical.

Erin Moure’s Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person is wry, clever, playful and lyrical. It is essentially, and beautifully, a love letter to that poet of fluid identities Fernando Pessoa. And it is also a love letter to Toronto, its vanished pastoral. Pessoa’s Tejo river is Moure’s Humber river. Her language, as his, is always doubled. She translates and recreates their shared sensations of nature’s plain existence, its material absolution.