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House of Anansi Press

Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person

Written by Fernando Pessoa • Translated by Erin Moure

Published April 01, 2001 | ISBN 9780887846601
POETRY / Canadian

Cover of Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person

Regular price $18.95 CAD

144 pages | 8.600 in × 5.630 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person

Fernando Pessoa • Erin Moure

A temporary move to Toronto in the winter of 2000, a twisted ankle, an empty house -- all inspired Moure as she read Alberto Caeiro/Fernando Pessoa's classic long poem O Guardador de Rebanhos. For fun, she started to translate, altering tones and vocabularies. From the Portuguese countryside and roaming sheep of 1914, a 21st century Toronto emerged, its neighbourhoods still echoing the 1950s, their dips and hollows, hordes of wild cats, paved creeks. Her poem became a translation, a transcreation, the jubilant and irrepressible vigil of a fervent person. "Suddenly," says Moure impishly, "I had found my master." Caeiro's sheep were his thoughts and his thoughts, he claimed, were all sensations. Moure's sheep are stray cats and from her place in Caeiro's poetry, she creates a woman alive in an urban world where the rural has not vanished, where the archaic suffuses us even when we do not beckon it, and yet the present tense floods us fully.

About the Creators

Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa (1888 - 1935) was one of the great poets of the Portuguese language. Alberto Caeiro was one of his main heteronyms. O Guardador de Rebanhos was first published in full in 1946 by Edicoes Atica in Volume 3 of Pessoa's Obras Completas called Poesias de Alberto Caeiro.

Erin Moure

One of Canada’s most eminent and respected poets, ERÍN MOURE is a translator from French, Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese, and the author of seventeen books of poetry. Moure has received the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the A.M. Klein Prize, and she has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Most recently, she has been a finalist for the 2018 Kobzar Literary Award. She lives in Montreal.

Awards and Praise
  • Short-listed Toronto Book Award, 2002
  • Short-listed Griffin Poetry Prize, 2002