Constroi uma casinha / Build Me a Cottage by Fernando Pessoa

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

“Video poem made in a abandoned wool factory in Portugal for the museum of Guarda by Pat van Boeckel and Peter van der Pol”, says the Vimeo description. The Guarda City Museum (Museu da Guarda) is in central Portugal.

The English in the subtitles has a few problems, but the film, centered on an art installation, is so imaginative, it more than makes up for it. In fact it’s the Portuguese that’s a translation; Pessoa, who was raised in Durban, South Africa, wrote the poem in English under the heteronym Alexander Search, and the film uses a much later Portuguese translation by Luísa Freire. Pat van Boeckel notes that it’s not a well-known poem even in Portugal.

This is the third videopoem by van Boeckel that I’ve shared (here are the others). Visit his website and Vimeo page for more of his work.

Updated with more accurate information about the poem’s provenance.

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