Del Otro Lado de la Noche

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University of Arizona Press, 2002 - Poetry - 213 pages
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On the other side of night, Francisco Alarc—n is waiting. One of Chicano literature's premier poets, Alarc—n has brought his luminous images to the page in such acclaimed volumes as Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes and Snake Poems. Now he has assembled the best of his work from fifteen years, along with fourteen new poems, in a book that distills his magical sense of reality into a cup brimming with passion. Raised in Guadalajara and now living in the San Francisco Bay area, Alarc—n sees that " 'Mexican' / is not / a noun / or an / adjective / 'Mexican' / is a life / long / low-paying / job." Participating in a poetic tradition that goes back to the mystic Spanish poets of the sixteenth century, he brings us sonnets infused with romance and tendernessÑand shorter poems that are direct and hard-hitting commentaries on American society, as he cries out for "a more godlike god," one "who spends nights / in houses / of ill repute / and gets up late / on Saturdays." Alarc—n invokes both the mysteries of Mesoamerica and the "otherness" of his gay identity. "My skin is dark / as the night / in this country / of noontime," he writes, "but my soul / is even darker / from all the light / I carry inside." In lyrical poems open to wide interpretation, he transcends ethnic concerns to address social, sexual, and historical issues of concern to all Americans. The fourteen new poems in From the Other Side of Night offer startling new commentaries on life and love, sex and AIDS. Shifting effortlessly between English and SpanishÑand even NahuatlÑAlarc—n demonstrates the gift of language that has earned him both a wide readership and the admiration of fellow poets. With this book, he invites new readers to meet him where the darkness is palpable and the soul burns bright.
  

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Contents

Dialéctica del amor Dialectics of Love
5
Un Beso Is Not a Kiss
12
Canto a las tortillas In Praise of Tortillas
19
Poeta encarcelado Imprisoned Poet
27
Cuarto oscuro Dark Room
34
Cuerpo en llamas Body in Flames
42
Orden en la casa Order in the Home
48
Loma Prieta Loma Prieta
55
No Golden Gate for
117
Para este amor nunca ha habido sol
136
Me gusta caminar junto a tu lado
142
Cómo consolar al hombre más solo ?
148
Nuevo día New Day
153
Para nosotros For Us
171
Izquierda Left
178
En la boca In My Mouth
186

Pobres poetas Poor Poets
61
An Aztec Invocation
75
Oración del desierto Desert Prayer
194
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Francisco X. Alarc—n is the author of ten volumes of poetry and several books of bilingual poetry for children. He has been a recipient of several literary prizes, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and the UC Irvine Chicano Literary Prize. He currently teaches at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Spanish for Native Speakers Program.

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