top of page

The Violet Messenger

Author: Florbela Espanca


Portuguese poet born on December 8, 1895, in Vila Viçosa (Alentejo) and died on her birthday in 1930, in Matosinhos (Porto) by suicide, Florbela started at the University of Lisbon, a career that did not end.
Her love life, after the failure of three marriages, was utterly miserable, which deepened the feeling of dissatisfaction in love that was so obvious in her poetry. Her refined artistic sensibility blossomed, mainly, in sonnets full of painful intimacy and in an emotional feminine eroticism, unprecedented in the literature of her country.
Her work represented the continuity of a certain decadent romanticism, with gentle tinctures of Parnassian beauticians, and was one of the first steps in the process of women's literary emancipation. The poets Antero de Quental - one of the happiest sonnetists given by literature - and António Nobre include more direct influences from Florbela Espanca, rather than the sublimated abnegation of Sor Mariana Alcoforado.
The titles of his poetry books - Livro de Mágoas ('book of phrases', 1919), Livro de Soror Saudade ('sister Nostalgia's book', 1923) and Charneca em Flor reveal the poignancy and frustrations that mar his days. . A selfishness sometimes ceases, step by step accelerated and relentless from fullness to disappointment in love, clear awareness of the ephemeral nature of existence, they are often reflected in intense verses.
The vast plains of the Alentejo house inspired his poems, which he recreates in images of extraordinary beauty. The tremendous feeling of dissatisfaction that always accompanied her and the depression caused by the death of her brother ended up precipitating her in the tragic determination of suicide.
In 1931, Florbela Espanca's narrative work, As Máscaras do Destino ('the masks of fate') and Domino black contos, was published posthumously. 

Imagem A Mensageira das Violetas Mafra Editorial.jpg
bottom of page