Transcendence and Abjection in Vergílio Alberto Vieira’s Cleptopsydra

  • Robert Simon Kennesaw State University
Keywords: Portuguese poetry, contemporary, Iberian Studies, différance, Camilo Pessanha


In the present essay, I examine Portuguese poet Vergílio Alberto Vieira’s 2018 collection, Cleptopsydra, an explicit parody on Camilo Pessanha’s Clepsidra (1920). Within the collection, the poetic voice moves beyond the rigidity of Pessanha’s form through a series of sublime, transcendent, but ultimately earthbound symbols. This tension between form, symbol, and transcendence likewise exists in the work of several of Vieira’s contemporaries, and I suggest an openly transnational and translinguistic link between them. Finally, I discuss how contemporary Portugal has come to serve as both a challenge and a point of articulation for Vieira’s poetics.