Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) is Portugal’s great modernist poet. He published almost nothing during his own lifetime, but left a trunk full of papers, many bearing different names and written in different styles. These names became known as ‘heteronyms’, which were not just names, but personalities, who produced poetry in keeping with their education, temperament, and personal philosophy. Alberto Caeiro was one of those heteronyms, for whom Pessoa provided the following biography:
Born in 1889 in Lisbon, but lived nearly all his life in the country. His parents died when he was a child, and he lived with an elderly aunt. Only primary education. Average height, fair hair, blue eyes. Professions: none. Died of tuberculosis in 1915, aged 26.