Fernando Pessoa on poetry
Poetry is in everything—in land and in sea, in lake and in riverside. It is in the city too—deny it not—it is evident to me here as I sit: there is poetry in this table, in this paper, in this inkstand; there is poetry in the rattling of the cars on the streets, in each minute, common, ridiculous motion of a workman who [on] the other side of the street is painting the signboard of a butcher’s shop. Mine inner sense predominates in such a way over my five senses that I see things in this life—I do believe it—in a way different from other men. There is for me—there was—a wealth of meaning in a thing so ridiculous as a door key, a nail on a wall, a cat’s whiskers. There is to me a fullness of spiritual suggestion in a fowl with its chickens strutting across the road. There is to me a meaning deeper than human fears in the smell of sandalwood, in the old tins on a dirt heap, in a matchbox lying in the gutter, in two dirty papers which, on a windy day, will roll and chase each other down the street.
For poetry is astonishment, admiration, as of a being fallen from the skies taking full consciousness of his fall, astonished at things. As of one who knew things in their soul, striving to remember this knowledge, remembering that it was not thus he knew them, not under these forms and these conditions, but remembering nothing more.