Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date



This study was written to introduce the poetry of Brazil's leading women poets to the English-speaking world. Brazilian literature itself is as little known as the Portuguese language in which it is written. Brazilian poetry as a whole has not been widely evaluated. The poetry of Brazilian women, in particular, is practically unknown to the Brazilian as well as to the English-speaking public.

There were four criteria for the selection of these particular five living women poets. They were chosen on the basis of volume of published works. Several poetesses of promise had to be omitted because their publications were so few as to make objective evaluation impossible. They were chosen on the basis of mention by critics. If the Brazilian critics considered them at all, it was deemed evidence of some distinction. They were chosen on the basis of their works' being selected for anthologies. The fact that their poems appear in general anthologies and anthologies of women's poetry was considered a favorable sign of recognition. They were chosen on the basis of opinions expressed in oral interviews in Brazil with prominent men and women of letters. If the women poets made contributions to journals, newspapers, literary activities, and to Brazilian culture, it was felt to be sufficient reason for choice by these scholars. All of these criteria for selection almost unanimously converged on these five poets: Maria Eugenia Celso, Gilka Machado, Cecília Meireles, Adalgisa Nery, and Henriqueta Lisboa.

The poetry of these five Brazilian women poets will be discussed as to style, imagery, themes, and concepts, with an aim to invite appreciation by English-speaking lovers of poetry. The discussion in this study is based upon the premise that poetry is an imaginative, rhythmic composition with lofty ideas which arouse emotion and provoke thought. Consequently, there will be a greater emphasis on what these women say than on how they say it.

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert Richard Lopes

Second Committee Member

George Warren Arms

Third Committee Member

Francis Monroe Kercheville

Fourth Committee Member

Cecil Vivian Wicker




Maria Eugenia Celso, Gilka Machado, Cecilia Meireles, Adalgisa Nery, Henriqueta Lisboa

Document Type



Marie Pope Wallis was the first woman to earn a PhD from the University of New Mexico. The name of her degree at the time of its granting was Spanish and Ibero-American Literatures.