Metaphors by Mario de Sá-Carneiro

Mario de Sá-Carneiro was a Portuguese poet who died in 1916, at the age of 25, after swallowing strychnine. He attended law school in Coimbra, where he met and became close friends with fellow Portuguese poet (and aphorist) Fernando Pessoa. Both Sá-Carneiro and Pessoa were loners given to melancholy and depression. Pessoa’s sense of angst is expressed in a great aphorism:

We never know self–realization. We are two abysses—a well staring at the Sky.

A reader brought Sá-Carneiro to my attention with a stanza from one of his poems, a few lines that echo Rimbaud’s “I is an other” saying, which I used as the title for my book about metaphor in daily life:

I’m not me nor am I the other,
I’m something intermediate:
Pillar of the Tedious Bridge
That goes from me to the Other.