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Reversible Monuments: An Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Poetryby Monica De La Torre
Synopses & Reviews
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 Monuments introduces 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 Monuments includes 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.
"Poetry is news in New Mexico...Reversible Monuments is unique among Mexican anthologies(and nearly all anthologies) in that it gives each poet ample space to be heard; the poets do not blur together into an anophous 'Mexicanism.' Its cartholicity of taste, avoidance of nepotism, and recognition of the fact that not all Mexican poetry is written in Spanish makes it far superior to any anthology I know, covering similar ground, that has been published in Mexico itself. An insiders knowledge has been combinedwith an outsider's perspective." Eliot Weinberger, from the introduction
Mexican Poetry has flourished during the last Thirty Years, and this ambitious multi-lingual anthology surveys the vibrant and eclectic work of poets born after 1950. The poetry of this new generation reflectas a wealth of backrounds. reigons, styles, and especially influences —including traditional and inventive narative, formalism, lyrics, suites, and experimental verse.
A sweeping and exhaustive overview of contemporary Mexican poetry.
Poetry. Mexican poetry has flourished during the last thirty years, and this ambitious multi-lingual anthology surveys the vibrant and eclectic work of poets born after 1950. The poetry of this new generation reflects a wealth of backgrounds, regions, styles, and especially influences--including traditional and inventive narrative, formalism, lyrics, suites and experimental verse. This is also the first generation of Mexican poets to hold in common an international perspective. Unlike anthologies offering only one or two poems by each author, REVERSIBLE MONUMENTS affords its poets space enough to present larger-than-usual selections, allowing readers to more fully realize the individual voices. The translations, by both distinguished translators and brilliant new practitioners, are concise and transparent, and most are published here for the first time. In addition, several indigenous poets who write in Zapotec, Tzeltal, and Mazatec are presented tri-lingually.
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