An innovative and dynamic way of practicing and thinking about translation emerged in 1950 s Brazil and became entangled with German literature. However, due to linguistic barriers, this constellation remains almost invisible today. The main protagonist of this translation discourse was Haroldo de Campos who, together with his brother Augusto de Campos, translated texts from world literature into Brazilian Portuguese. This article argues that in the translation and criticism of a poem by Christian Morgenstern, the work of Haroldo de Campos as a philologist and scholar of Comparative Literature becomes especially palpable. Beginning with an example from Morgenstern’s collection Galgenlieder , the article illustrates how Campos translated the German vanguard movement into the Brazilian context and reflected on the similarities of both literary currents. The translation also depicts Haroldo de Campos’ understanding of both Comparative Literature and criticism, in general, favoring translation, adaption, and reception over the praise of the ‘original’. In following the traces of the poem (“Ein ästhetisches Wiesel”) through Brazilian literary theory (also in the work of Roberto Schwarz and Anatol Rosenfeld), the article argues in favor of its relevance for the discipline of Comparative Literature.