The mathematics of being

Pessoa drinking

Fernando Pessoa (1888 – 1935)

O master, my master!

In the sensationist anguish of all my felt days,

In the daily pain inflicted by the mathematics of being,

I, a slave to all things, like dust to all winds,

Lift up my hands to you, so far away, so far from me!

From a poem of Álvaro de Campos (1928)

Disillusioned with life, the “naval engineer and Sensationist poet” Álvaro de Campos, one of the numerous heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa, imagines his helpless existence to be governed by the “mathematics of being“.