Reading Alberto Caeiro’s Poems with Anthropocene Eyes



The term “Anthropocene” proposed by Crutzen and Stoermer in 2000 names a new geological epoch, that endows humans with geological agency. The advent and acceptance of this new geological epoch begs the revision of Modernity’s cherished concepts and the reframing of the so-called modern constitution, the Great Divide, as conceived by Bruno Latour. Modernity’s wall, the one that separates humans and non-humans, shows its cracks in the Anthropocene. Literature, however, long ago, had anticipated the need for rethinking our relationship with Nature, especially with regards to the subject/object dichotomy. Alberto Caeiro, Fernando Pessoa’s heteronym, claims that Nature had been neglected by all poets and thinkers, as he is the first poet to have noticed it. The present article aims at, therefore, reading Caeiro’s poems with Anthropocene eyes so that the subject/object dichotomy, one of the pillars of Modernity, can be better investigated.