Reversible monuments: contemporary Mexican poetry
Not since 1959 when Octavio Paz and Samuel Beckett published An Anthology of Mexican Poetry,has there been a collection which so thoroughly examines the poetry of the country known for being "too far from God and too close to the United States." Yet, as Elliott Weinberger writes in his introduction, "Americans know everything about God, but next to nothing about Mexico-few know that Mexico-particularly when compared to the United States-is a kind of paradise for poets." Reversible Monumentsintroduces this "paradise" to American readers. It includes major international writers like Alberto Blanco, Pura Lopez Colome, and David Huerta, as well as exciting younger poets, and poets whose work, while well-known in the Spanish-speaking world has not yet seen publication in English. The twenty-five poets represented are as diverse as their American counterparts: They are urban, educated, younger, well travelled, aware of their literary heritage, and include Buddhists, feminists, Jewish poets, experimental poets, darkly brooding poets, and playfully entertaining poets. Until the Poem Remains by Francisco Hernandez Strip away all the flesh until the poem remains with the sonorous darkness of bone. And smooth the bone, polish it, sharpen it until it becomes such a fine needle, that it pierces the tongue without pain though blood chokes the throat. Reversible Monumentsincludes a healthy bilingual selection by each poet, features an introduction by Elliott Weinberger, and gathers the work of esteemed translators alongside that of younger translators. It also includes biographies of the poets, notes on the poetry, and an extensive bibliography of contemporary Mexican poetry.
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Reversible MonumentsUser Review - Book Verdict
In Mexico, poets are so highly esteemed that they are considered their country's cultural ambassadors. Many write for daily newspapers, and most are consulted for opinions about politics and social issues. In the United States, on the contrary, poets usually earn their livings as teachers and, "quarantined with [their] writing students," spin their creative wheels by writing to and for academia rather than to society as a whole. Ironically, anthologies of contemporary American poetry frequently on bestsellers lists in Mexico go, like the words of prophets, ignored in their own country. If homegrown poetry ranks low on the list of American pastimes, translations of Mexican poetry could rank even lower. De la Torre, a translator and coordinator of literature and visual arts programming at the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and Wiegers, the managing editor at Copper Canyon, hope to change all that. This volume began as an exchange of poets between the United States and Mexico in 1998, sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the Academy of American Poets. Featuring over 30 contemporary poets (born after or just before 1950), this anthology is a fresh voice from the south of the border. The language and extended metaphors found in many of these poems are original enough to suggest one of Mexico's finest poets, Sor Juana In s de la Cruz, or Spain's equally complex Baroque poet Luis de Gongora. Nevertheless, each poet's work is unique, and the syntax of the poetry is unmistakably modern. Many poets are award winners or recipients of Guggenheim fellowships. The bilingual layout is easy to follow; English translations match the original Spanish nearly stanza for stanza. An added feature is the section containing brief biographies of the translators. Recommended for poetry and Spanish-language collections in academic and public libraries. Nedra C. Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA ...
Review: Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican PoetryUser Review - Goodreads
What an accomplishment. There are wonderful poets here and the translations truly do them justice. This book took my breath away. I have given many copies as gifts.
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Limited preview - 2007