to the poem: Mar
Português (after which the second part of Mensagem
is named) is the capital short poem of Portuguese Literature
and also Pessoa's best known poem in his homeland. It sums
up the cost of conquering the seas in terms of human suffering and
asks "Was it worthwhile?" immediately replying with two resounding
sentences "All is worthwhile when the spirit is not small"
and "He who wants to go beyond the Cape has to go beyond pain".
The poem then concludes in a grand manner with the statement that
God created the sea dangerous but it was in it that He chose to
mirror the sky that symbolizes heaven!
salty sea, so much of your salt
tears of Portugal!
we crossed you, so many mothers wept,
many sons prayed in vain!
many brides remained unmarried
you might be ours, oh sea!
it worthwhile? All is worthwhile
the spirit is not small.
who wants to go beyond the Cape
to go beyond pain.
to the sea peril and abyss has given
it was in it that He mirrored heaven.