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“I know of places where there are stones that talk to me”: A. M. Pires Cabral’s Arado through the lens of Ecocriticism

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Abstract:

A.M. Pires Cabral (b. 1941) is a Portuguese poet, novelist, essayist, and translator. His first book of poetry Somewhere in the Northeast (1974), condenses the originality of his poetic achievement: the meeting between classic form and rural experience. Stemming from the fact that his poetry is based on a specific place and on an instance of attention to ordinary people and objects is a vision which underlines the involvement of the human destiny with the landscape we inhabit. This paper concentrates on the way A. M. Pires Cabral’s poetry has been an example of attentiveness to and of human conversation with the non-human world. Its uniqueness stems from the relationship to a remote and rural Portuguese region. If isolation defines the place, Pires Cabral’s poetry builds a sense of inclusion and communion between physical place, people, and animals, that is, a sense of belonging. The article analyses A. M. Pires Cabral’s Plow (2009), a book in which his poetic engagement with the natural world promotes new insights into the potential role of poetry, generating a greater environmental awareness and calling for new visions and new responsibility.

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