A Armando Teixeira Rebelo
Hotel Brito, Portalegre.
Venerable portion of earthly existence!
In a few moments of concatenated mental activity, not unassisted by the carnal fumes of the alcoholic beverage - no more and no less than wine - not exclusive to this locality, my soul felt, like a mental sigh, the necessity of giving expression to its present state and tendencies to a friendly brain such as yours.
Lonely and silent in my transitory place of existence in the hotel mentioned in the heading of this explosive epistle of an over-burdened soul, feeling the world around me morally cold and materially warm - below zero towards my soul and not far from 40 in relation to my body - in these distressing and inspiring circumstances the though has come upon me that perhaps the indicting of this epistolary composition may be subjectively conductive to an alleviation of my earthly lot at this moment, may be the " balm in Gilead", dream of Poe, to my unsistered spirit.
Hence this letter.
Portalegre is a place where all a stranger can do is get tired of doing nothing. Its component qualities seem to me ( upon deep and cautions analysis) to contain, in uncertain relative quantities, heat, cold, semi-Spanishdom and nothingness. The wine is good ( though not from here, I think), but it is decidely alcoholic, especially when the water-pitcher is at the other end of the table and you ( that is I) forget to ask for it. The style of this letter may be "terminal" proof thereof. I shall register it that so brilliant and offspring of my mind may not be lost in the post.
The taking-to-pieces and packing of the printing office is taking a damned long time - poetically speaking of course.
_ Nevertheless, the men have worked quickly enough and I have looked on ( and off) with the greatest energy.
I sincerely believe that, if I were to remain here a month, I would have to go to Lisbon, afterwards to Bombarda Hotel. You can hardly imagine the hyperboredom, the ultra-get-tired-of-everythingness, the absolute what-the-blooming hell-is-a-chap-to-do- hereability that reigns in my spirit! I found a book to read, but was unable to muster energy to read it. I am anxious to get back to Lisbon; yet I think I will have to stay here yet three days more.
Alentejo seen from the train
Nothing with nothing around it
Fare thee well.
F. Nogueira Pessôa
P.S. Don't write to Portalegre, I may not be here. Wait till I get to Lisbon! We will converse there.
Notas explicativas carta nº
A ida a Portalegre e as diligências aí feitas
por Pessoa prendem-se com a compra de máquinas para a Tipografia
Íbis, que o poeta resolvera instalar em Lisboa e na qual investiu
o dinheiro da herança da sua avó Dionísia.