Through the Tejo you go to the World.
Beyond the Tejo is America
And the fortune you encounter there.
Nobody ever thinks about what’s beyond
The river of my village.
— Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet, 1888-1935
Cyclists pedaling along a new bike path in Lisbon, Portugal, can experience poetry in motion — quite literally.
The paved path along the River Tagus — Tejo in Portuguese — is adorned with excerpts from a poem by Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa.
The poem, O Guardador de Rebanhos (“The Keeper of the Sheep”), was written in 1914 under the pseudonym Alberto Caeiro as an homage to the river in Pessoa’s hometown.
Thanks to Kami Kitchen, a fellow rider in our trans-America bicycle journey last fall, for giving me a heads-up on the bike path.
Take a look at the video by Abilio Vieira for a vicarious ride along the river that launched such celebrated Portuguese explorers as Vasco da Gama during Europe’s Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Click on O Tejo in the line below.