Communicating with the Cosmos

Contemporary Brazilian women poets and the embodiment of spiritual values

Authored by: Izabel F.O. Brandão , Edilane Ferreira da Silva

Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138053137
eBook ISBN: 9781315167343
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315167343-26

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Abstract

One of the possible (and often neglected) discourses which may be a challenge as regards a feminist ecocritical reading is spirituality, in that the values entailed here call upon a perspective that tells us that the world is more-than-human, and that whatever we are belongs to a Universe about which we have only limited access and understanding. Hence spiritual values are part of a search in which we as humans want to understand and come to terms with. The search for a new pathway that relates spiritual values to one’s inner yearnings is not new, and yet when women poets include this search in their writings, one of the questions posed could be: how different is this search from any other? This chapter aims at contemplating this theme regarding contemporary Brazilian women poets of an earlier generation: Hilda Hilst (1930–2004), Helena Parente Cunha (1930–), Adélia Prado (1935–) and Arriete Vilela (1949–). These poets have attempted to answer for this yearning in their writing, and in their difference, they call for a spiritual reading of the world they believe in. Thus the chapter aims at reading these four women writers and examine how they develop an understanding of such values in their poems: in what way can their word be a poetic representative of divinity? In what way(s) can the word be a channel of communication with the Cosmos? Their answers might show that the material body inhabited by the human being is ingrained in the words that build a more-than-human world. For these writers the body may be seen as a fabric with which nature draws a connection with the all—and far from a religious understanding, theirs may reveal a spiritual connection that questions our human existence as belonging to a richer and wider context than the sense of matter alone might encompass. Each one seeks a kind of “truth” in their writings: their deity may either be a material God, present in the body (the body of the word), or a transcendental one integrated in/with nature, or use other alternatives in which nature is involved in a creative and complex conjunction.

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