I love the Real when I love my dreams

Two of Fernando Pessoa’s poems written in English, from the Penguin anthology A little Larger Than the Entire Universe

“I love my dreams,” I said, a winter morn,
To the pract ical man, and he, in scorn,
Replied: ” I am no slave of the Ideal,
But, as all men of sense, I love the Real.”
Poor fool, mistaking all this is and seems!
I love the Real when I love my dreams.

A Temple
I have built my temple – wall and face –
Outside the idea of space,
Complex-built as a full-rigged ship;
I made its walls of my fears,
Its turrets many of weird thoughts and tears –
And that strange temple, thus unfurled
Like a death’s-head flag, that like a whip
Stinging around my soul is curled,
Is far more real than the world.
[August 1907]

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