"He gives us more than himself or ‘a world'; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language." Alongside Joseph Brodsky's words of praise one might mention the more concrete honors that the renowned poet Derek Walcott has received: a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry; the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948–2013 draws from every stage of the poet's storied career. Here are examples of his very earliest work, like "In My Eighteenth Year," published when the poet himself was still a teenager; his first widely celebrated verse, like "A Far Cry from Africa," which speaks of violence, of loyalties divided in one's very blood; his mature work, like "The Schooner Flight" from The Star-Apple Kingdom; and his late masterpieces, like the tender "Sixty Years After," from the 2010 collection White Egrets.
Across sixty-five years, Walcott grapples with the themes that have defined his work as they have defined his life: the unsolvable riddle of identity; the painful legacy of colonialism on his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia; the mysteries of faith and love and the natural world; the Western canon, celebrated and problematic; the trauma of growing old, of losing friends, family, one's own memory. This collection, selected by Walcott's friend the English poet Glyn Maxwell, will prove as enduring as the questions, the passions, that have driven Walcott to write for more than half a century.
In White Egrets, Derek Walcott treats the characteristic subjects of his career—the Caribbean's complex colonial legacy, his love of the Western literary tradition, the wisdom that comes through the passing of time, the always strange joys of new love, and the sometimes terrifying beauty of the natural world—with an intensity and drive that recall his greatest work. Through the mesmerizing repetition of theme and imagery, Walcott creates an almost surflike cadence, broadening the possibilities of rhyme and meter, poetic form and language.
White Egrets is a moving new collection from one of the most important poets of the twentieth century—a celebration of the life and language of the West Indies. It is also a triumphant paean to beauty, love, art, and—perhaps most surprisingly—getting older.
"Between me and Venice the thigh of a hound;
my awe of the ordinary, because even as I write,
paused on a step of this couplet, I have never found
its image again, a hound in astounding light."
Tiepolo's Hound joins the quests of two Caribbean men: Camille Pissarro--a Sephardic Jew born in 1830 who leaves his native St. Thomas to follow his vocation as a painter in Paris--and the poet himself, who longs to rediscover a detail--"a slash of pink on the inner thigh / of a white hound"--of a Venetian painting encountered on an early visit from St. Lucia to New York. Both journeys take us through a Europe of the mind's eye, in search of a connection between the lost, actual landscape of a childhood and the mythical landscape of empire.
Published with twenty-five full-color reproductions of Derek Walcott's own paintings, the poem is at once the spiritual biography of a great artist in self-imposed exile, a history in verse of Impressionist painting, and a memoir of the poet's desire to catch the visual world in more than words.
Walcott records, with his distinctive linguistic blend of soaring imagery and plainly stated facts, the experience of a mid-lief period--in reality and in memory or the imagination. As Louis Simpson wrote on the publication of Wacott's The Fortunate Traveller, "Walcott is a spellbinder. Of how many poets can it be said that their poems are compelling--not a mere stringing together of images and ideas but language that delights in itself, rhythms that seem spontaneous, scenes that are vividly there?...The poet who can write like this is a master."
villages of absolutely no importance,
... Hoard, cherish
your negligible existence, your unrecorded history
of unambitious syntax, your clean pools
of unpolluted light over close stones.
The Prodigal is a journey through physical and mental landscapes, from Greenwich Village to the Alps, Pescara to Milan, Germany to Cartagena. But always in "the music of memory, water," abides St. Lucia, the author's birthplace, and the living sea. In his new work, Derek Walcott has created a sweeping yet intimate epic of an exhausted Europe studded with church spires and mountains, train stations and statuary, where the New World is an idea, a "wavering map," and where History subsumes the natural history of his "unimportantly beautiful" island home. Here, the wanderer fears that he has been tainted by his exile, that his life has become untranslatable, and that his craft itself is rooted in betrayal of the vivid archipelago to which, like Antaeus, he must return for the very sustenance of life.
Pantomime is a fast-paced comedy set in Tobaco. In the hope of entertaining future guests, an English hotel owner proposes that he and his black handyman work up a satire on the Robinson Crusoe story. The play was produced by BBC Radio and London's Keskidee Theatre in 1979. "A brilliantly extended set of variations on the master-and-servant relationship" (The Times). "Gentle wit, immaculately placed irony" (New Statesman). "Dazzling theatrical virtuosity" (Financial Times).
Derek Walcott has been publishing essays in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and elsewhere for more than twenty years. What the Twilight Says collects these pieces to form a volume of remarkable elegance, concision, and brilliance. It includes Walcott's moving and insightful examinations of the paradoxes of Caribbean culture, his Nobel lecture, and his reckoning of the work and significance of such poets as Robert Lowell, Joseph Brodsky, Robert Frost, Les Murray, and Ted Hughes, and of prose writers such as V. S. Naipaul and Patrick Chamoiseau. On every subject he takes up, Walcott the essayist brings to bear the lyric power and syncretic intelligence that have made him one of the major poetic voices of our time.
Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930. His recent works include Omeros (FSG, 1990) and The Bounty (FSG, 1997). He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. He lives in New York City and Castries, St. Lucia.
Three of Derek's Walcott's most popular short plays are also included in this volume: Ti-Jean and His Brothers; Malcochon, or The Six in the Rain; and The Sea at Dauphin. In an expansive introductory essay, "What the Twilight Says," the playwright explains his founding of the seminal dramatic company where these works were first performed, the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.
First published in 1970, Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays is an essential part of Walcott's vast and important body of work.
In the history plays that comprise The Haitian Trilogy--Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours and The Haytian Earth--Derek Walcott, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, uses verse to tell the story of his native West Indies as a four-hundred-year cycle of war, conquest and rebellion.
In Henri Christophe and The Haytian Earth, Walcott re-casts the legacy of Haiti's violent revolutionaries--led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe--whose rebellion established the first black state in the Americas, but whose cruelty becomes a parable of racial pride and corruption. Drums and Colours, commissioned in 1958 to celebrate the first parliament in Trinidad, is a grand pageant linking the lives of complex, ambiguous heroes: Columbus and Raleigh; Toussaint; and George William Gordon, a martyr of the constitutional era.
From Henri Christophe's high style to the bracing vernacular of The Haytian Earth, to the epic scale and scope of Drums and Colours, in these plays Walcott, one of our most celebrated poets, carved a place in the modern theater for the history of the West Indies, and a sounding room for his own maturing voice.
In a fable that reaches from St. Lucia's verdant forests to an explosive ending amid its plantation homes, Walcott has crafted a masterwork rich in flowing language and colorful Creole patois. With roots in Caribbean folklore and an eye toward the island's postcolonial legacy and complex racial identities, Moon-Child marks a remarkable new addition to the canon of one of the world's most prolific Caribbean playwrights.
The Last Carnival is an entirely new version of Walcott's earlier, unpublished play, In a Fine Castle. It had its American premiere with the Group Theatre Company in Seattle in 1983. Beef, No Chicken premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre's Winterfest series in 1982. A Branch of the Blue Nile was given its Caribbean premiere by State One in Barbados in 1983.
On a cold winter's day on the Dakota plains, Catherine Weldon receives a caller, Kicking Bear, bringing news of Indian rebellion. In the fort nearby, a tiny community splinters apart over how to react. In Ghost Dance, first performed in 1989, Walcott turns a story with a foregone conclusion -- Sitting Bull and his Sioux followers will die at the hands of the Army and Indian agents -- into a portrait of life at a crossroads of American history.
In Walker, an opera first performed in 1992 and revised for its revival in 2001, Walcott shifts his attention east, taking for his subject David Walker, the nineteenth-century black abolitionist. In Walcott 's hands Walker becomes a classical hero for his people: a leader who is also a poet.
The subject of the title poem is the alienation and isolation of an America
where filling-station signs
proclaim the Gulf, an air, heavy
sickens the state, from Newark
to New Orleans.
The central figure in the Caribbean poems is a Robinson Crusoe-like castaway, who "learns again the self-creating peace of islands."
Mr. Walcott's plays have been produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and the Negro Ensemble Company. Dream on Monkey Mountain, the title play of his earlier collection, won the Obie Award for a Distringuished Foreign Play when produced in New York in 1971. It was deemed "a masterpiece" by Edith Oliver in The New Yorker. "Dream on Monkey Mountain," she wrote, "is a poem in dramatic form or a drama in poetry, and poetry is rare in the modern theatre. Every line of it plays....there is a sound psychological basis for every action and emotion."
For several years, Derek Walcott has lived mainly in the United States. "The Arkansas Testament," one of the book's long poems, is a powerful confrontation of changing allegiances. The poem's crisis is the taking on of an extra history, one that challenges unquestioning devotion.
On the publication of Selected Poems in 1963, Robert Graves wrote, "Derek Walcott handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most (if not any) of his English-born contemporaries." This collection of new poems in every way confirms Walcott's mastery. He is also the author of The Gulf, Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays, and Another Life.
Two painters—Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh—are living together in the sleepy town of Arles in 1888. Soon, Gauguin, frustrated by van Gogh's refusal to acknowledge his increasingly troubled mind, will depart for Paris. In two years, van Gogh will be dead by his own hand. In the meantime, the friends discuss their craft; they frequent a local café that van Gogh will soon immortalize; they become acquainted with a young prostitute, Lotte, who becomes Gauguin's lover; they argue; they paint.
In Derek Walcott's new historical play, O Starry Starry Night, two world-renowned artists come to life as they wrestle both with grand themes—friendship, loyalty, fame—and with more mundane concerns, money primary among them. The scenes Walcott sketches summon several of van Gogh's most famous paintings: Sunflowers, The Night Café, The Bedroom at Arles. His manipulation of language—van Gogh's eloquent monologues giving way to more abstract speeches—evokes the painter's descent into madness. Over the action hangs the threat of violence, of death, which lends the play a potent urgency; for at least one of the characters, time is quickly running out.
O Starry Starry Night is powerfully wrought, and demonstrates once again the sharpness of Walcott's eye: as a painter, as a poet, as a writer, and, above all, as an observer of human follies, foibles, failings, and aspirations.
In The Star-Apple Kingdom, Walcott's precise and inventive imagery is enriched by frequent exploitation of the tonal aspects of dialect. He has absorbed into poetry the normal resources of fiction--to the point where fact crystallizes into metaphor. As John Thompson recently commented in The New York Review of Books: "Walcott writes now as a man who knows exactly what he is doing. His style is that of the best language of our period."
Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda’s love poems caused a scandal when published anonymously in 1952. In later editions, these verses became the most celebrated of the Noble Prize winner’s oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images that reveal in gentle lingering lines an erotic re-imagining of the world through the prism of a lover’s body: "today our bodies became vast, they grew to the edge of the world / and rolled melting / into a single drop / of wax or meteor...." Written on the paradisal island of Capri, where Neruda "took refuge" in the arms of his lover Matilde Urrutia, Love Poems embraces the seascapes around them, saturating the images of endless shores and waves with a new, yearning eroticism. This wonderful book collects Neruda’s most passionate verses.
"In his work a continent awakens to consciousness." So wrote the Swedish Academy in awarding the Nobel Prize to Pablo Neruda, the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry and one of Latin America's most revered writers, lionized during his lifetime as "the people's poet."
This selection of Neruda's poetry, the most comprehensive single volume available in English, presents nearly six hundred poems, scores of them in new and sometimes multiple translations, and many accompanied by the Spanish original. In his introduction, Ilan Stavans situates Neruda in his native milieu as well as in a contemporary English-language one, and a group of new translations by leading poets testifies to Neruda's enduring, vibrant legacy among English-speaking writers and readers today.
In his work a continent awakens to consciousness," wrote the Swedish Academy in awarding the Nobel Prize to Pablo Neruda, author of more than thirty-five books of poetry and one of Latin America's most revered writers and political figures-a loyal member of the Communist party, a lifelong diplomat and onetime senator, a man lionized during his lifetime as "the people's poet."
Born Neftali Basoalto, Neruda adopted his pen name in fear of his family's disapproval, and yet by the age of twenty-five he was already famous for the book Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, which remains his most beloved. During the next fifty years, a seemingly boundless metaphorical language linked his romantic fantasies and the fierce moral and political compass-exemplified in books such as Canto General-that made him an adamant champion of the dignity of ordinary men and women.
Edited and with an introduction by Ilan Stavans, this is the most comprehensive single-volume collection of this prolific poet's work in English. Here the finest translations of nearly six hundred poems by Neruda are collected and join specially commissioned new translations that attest to Neruda's still-resounding presence in American letters.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Written over the course of seven years and in many locales in Latin America and Europe, the poems in Cantos de vida y esperanza reflect both Darío’s anguished sense of modern life and his ecstatic visions of transcendence, freedom, and the transformative power of art. They reveal Darío’s familiarity with Spanish, French, and English literature and the wide range of his concerns—existential, religious, erotic, and socio-political. Derusha and Acereda’s translation renders Darío’s themes with meticulous clarity and captures the structural and acoustic dimensions of the poet’s language in all its rhythmic sonority. Their introduction places this singular poet—arguably the greatest to emerge from Latin America in modern literature—and his best and most widely known work in historical and literary context. An extensive glossary offers additional information, explaining terms related to modernismo, Hispanic history, mythological allusions, and artists and writers prominent at the turn of the last century.
"The Moon" has been selected as one of Vancouver Poetry House's 10 Best Poems of 2015
"This poem, translated from the original Spanish, unfolds as a litany of the many ways the moon has been described. One long, complex sentence links all the previous iterations, while a second, much shorter sentence isolates the image of yet another moon. The prose-poem form seems to contain the patch of night sky from which that new apprehension--the moon reflected in the vision of a solitary witness, the poem's speaker--arrives."
--New York Times Magazine, Featured Poem, "The Moon"
"The poems are thoughtful and intelligent, frequently referencing mythology, literature, architecture; they require time to ponder, read, and re-read....Reflective souls will find much that resonates here."
--San Diego Book Review
"It is not hard to see why this collection won the Paz Prize for Poetry. Pintado seems a worthy successor to Octavio Paz, whose own poems owe so much to surrealism and the world of dreams."
--Midst of Things
"Cuban-American Pintado, recipient of the Paz Prize for Poetry, meditates on myths, legends, labyrinths, and the relationships between love, fears, and dreams in this bilingual collection."
--Publishers Weekly, Fall 2015 Announcements
"Translator Hilary Vaughn Dobel does an excellent job of reproducing Pintado’s tone and diction; her translation stands confidently on its own, without hewing any more closely than necessary to the original. While much of the poetry in Nueve monedas does rhyme in Spanish, Vaughn Dobel has not sought to reproduce that rhyme in English, the right decision in this case because of how Pintado uses rhyme in his own work, more often to end enjambed lines than not, a subtle use more suggestive of English-language New Formalists than the more baroque Spanish-language poets of midcentury."
--World Literature Today
"The urgency and presence in Pintado's poems feel as if the poet's very life depended on writing them. They are possessed by a unique, intangible quality that arrests the reader and commands attention. His work is intimate yet boundless, moving easily between form and free verse, prose poems and long poems, whether capturing the everyday streets of Miami Beach or leading us into the mythic and mystical worlds of his imagination."
--Richard Blanco, author of The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood
Translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel.
Nine Coins/Nueve monedas is a palimpsest of love, fears, dreams, and the intimate landscapes where the author seeks refuge. These poems appear like small islands of salvation, covered with the brief splendor of the coins people sometimes grab hold of, taking the form of a very personal and often devastating map. Each poem is a song at the edge of an abyss; an illusory gold coin obtained as a revelation; a song of hope and understanding. The volume's dreamlike geography prompts the reader to revisit the thread, the labyrinth, and the Minotaur’s legends. The night streets of South Beach, Alexandria, and many other cities, lit by the fading torches, seem to guide us in conversation with characters who are long dead.
The Paz Prize for Poetry is presented by the National Poetry Series and The Center at Miami Dade College. This annual award--named in the spirit of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz--honors a previously unpublished book of poetry written originally in Spanish by an American resident. An open competition is held each May, when an esteemed Spanish-speaking poet selects a winning manuscript. The book will be published in a bilingual edition by Akashic Books. The winning poet will also receive a $2,000 cash prize.
Some of the most important and exciting Mapuche poets are gathered here. Providing versions of each poem in Mapudungun, Spanish and English, Poetry of the Earth demonstrates how Mapuche poetry is so much more than just a collection of poems, or an act of writing. Rather, it is an expression of a long, rich and dynamic history, which at different times and places has made use of many kinds of musical, literary and linguistic forms.
As the poems are often operatic in their scope and register, the anthology as a whole is also a sophisticated ensemble of languages, cultures, critics and poets. Translations by Mapuche and Settler Chileans meet the translations of Chileans and Australians on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Then, Aboriginal, Mapuche and Settler scholars provide extremely useful introductory essays.
Poetry of the Earth is a remarkable example of Australian-Chilean resonance, and of the shared history of European colonisation of indigenous peoples around the world. This is not just an anthology of poetry from a distant land and language; it’s an illustration of a vital, trans-Pacific force.
- Stuart Cooke, Griffith University
This bilingual selection of more than fifty of Neruda's best poems, edited and with an introduction by the distinguished Latin American scholar Ilan Stavans and brilliantly translated by an array of well-known poets, also includes some poems previously unavailable in English. I Explain a Few Things distills the poet's brilliance to its most essential and illuminates Neruda's commitment to using the pen as a calibrator for his age.
Since its original publication in 1965, this edition of Darío's poetry has made English-speaking readers better acquainted with the poet who, as Enrique Anderson Imbert said, "divides literary history into 'before' and 'after.'" The selection of poems is intended to represent the whole range of Darío's verse, from the stinging little poems of Thistles to the dark, brooding lines of Songs of the Argentine and Other Poems. Also included, in the Epilogue, is a transcript of a radio dialogue between two other major poets, Federico García Lorca of Spain and Pablo Neruda of Chile, who celebrate the rich legacy of Rubén Darío.
"The Caribbean policeman is a character both foreign and familiar at the center of this intimate debut poetry collection. Combining Jamaican patois and American English, it tells the story of violence, loss, and recovery in the wake of colonialism."
--O, the Oprah Magazine
One of LargeUp's Ten Great Books by Caribbean Authors in 2015
"Jamaican-born Channer draws on the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean and his own unique experience for this energetic, linguistically inventive first collection of poetry....Channer's lyrics pop and reel in sheer musicality....A dextrous, ambitious collection that delivers enough acoustic acrobatics to keep readers transfixed 'till the starlings sing out.'"
"Channer...skillfully examines the brutality that permeates Jamaica's history in this moving debut poetry collection....Channer's poems rise to present the reader with a panoramic view of a place 'built on old foundations of violence,' of 'geographies where genocide and massacre/hang like smoke from coal fires.'"
"[Channer's] technique and foresight bring the underlying story of the collection, and the history he expounds, into full daylight and the collection succeeds in revealing a life and history as an essay might, but with the beauty of lyric added to narrative in an exercise that is cohesive in its ability to maintain its trajectory. It is a notable accomplishment."
--New York Journal of Books
"Jamaica's Colin Channer has been mixing patois in his romantic tales since his 1998 debut novel, Waiting In Vain. In 2015, he blessed us with Providential (Akashic), a poetry collection that touches on the full range of Jamaican languages and dreams."
"Fear stalks everyone, police and pursued, and Channer’s poems arrest us to that truth in syncopated, shocking fevers."
--Caribbean Beat Magazine
"[Channer's] strongest offering yet....Providential perfectly clothes the written word with matching tone and atmosphere. Welcome to the hallowed halls of Fine Poetry!"
--Kaieteur News (Guyana)
"Channer has written a fine set of poems that, like classical myth, start with the search for the lost father and end with the found son, the poet in the process replacing the lost father with a found self."
--Russell Banks, author of The Sweet Hereafter
"The voices and irrepressible human dance of the clan pulsing at this book's center leave me breathless and I realize how close the voices are to my own, how much I crave this dance."
--Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah
Channer's debut poetry collection achieves an intimate and lyric meditation on family, policing, loss, and violence, but the work is enlivened by humor, tenderness, and the rich possibilities that come from honest reflection. Combined with a capacity to offer physical landscapes with painterly sensitivity and care, a graceful mining of the nuances of Jamaican patwa and American English, and a judicious use of metaphor and similie, Providential is a work of "heartical" insight and vulnerability.
Not since Claude McKay's Constab Ballads of 1912 has a writer attempted to tackle the unlikely literary figure of the Jamaican policeman. Now, over a century later, Channer draws on his own knowledge of Jamaican culture, on his complex relationship with his father (a Jamaican policeman), and frames these poems within the constantly humane principles of Rasta and reggae. The poems within Providential manage to turn the intricate relationships between a man and his father, a man and his mother, and man and his country, and a man and his children into something akin to grace.
“You can just hear the reggae drumbeat as his verse vacillates among fire, anger, fear, profound loss, and victory.” —Savoy Magazine, January 2007
“The man writes some of the most moving poetry to be found in popular music.—David Bowie in Vanity Fair
“His observations are the rich fruits of both a lyrical childhood on a Jamaican farm, and his bottled anger on the streets of London. During his teenage years in Brixton, Johnson witnessed serial episodes of racial abuse and joined the Black Panthers movement in protest. There, he learned his history and culture, but found his own outlet.”—Caroline Frost, BBC Four
Linton Kwesi Johnson is the most influential black poet in Britain. The author of five previous collections of poetry and numerous record albums, he is known worldwide for his fusion of lyrical verse and reggae. Much of his work is written in the street Creole of the Caribbean communities in which he grew up in England. Mi Revalueshanary Fren includes all of his best-known poems, which concern racism and politics, personal experience, philosophy, and the art of music, among other things.
Contains a full-length CD of Johnson reading.
This book as the title suggests, consists only of truth. The author believes there is a lot of knowledge hidden from among his kinds, so he is doing what is right, and that is to reveal some of the truths he has discovered throughout his life. The Guilty Truth Revealed is made up of a compilation of the authors personal feelings and experiences he has had with family, friends, associates and even strangers that he met along the way.
Selvin Ewan McRae has pledged to deliver to you-- his readers-- everything your heart desires and more; not withholding any vital information or even spearing anyones feelings, as the truth he speaks. Containing a variety of flavor, the books love scenes, current affairs, conspiracies and mild pornographies will keep you on the edge as you explore. This book also brings forth some Godly laws. The eclectic nature of this well written prose will leave you well informed, and the glamour of life elucidated within will have you reminiscing and craving for more.
Enjoy The Guilty Truth Revealed. Hopefully after you have finished interpreting these parables, without misinterpretations, you would have gathered enough information to make you a much better person. This book of poetry and words of wisdom should also allow you to realize that all mankind are equal regardless of: wealth, race, gender, sex, or creed. Get in deep and personal with The Guilty Truth Revealed and you will surely be intrigued and completely satisfied.
Often called a "poet of the provinces," López Velarde gives us a glimpse into a slower and more gentle way of life. His poems present the contrast between city and hometown and between urban and pastoral landscapes. Through these contrasts runs the thread of religious faith, while urgency of language informs the entire body of his poetic production.
Original, specially commissioned drawings by noted contemporary Mexican artist Juan Soriano complement the poems. This combination of poetry and art speaks to universal emotions; indeed the poetry of López Velarde belongs to everyone who sings the Song of the Heart.
Aparicio analyzes literary representations of and meditations on the current conditions as well as the recent pasts of Central American homelands. Additionally, the book highlights aesthetic renditions of home at the same time that it engages with and is grounded in contemporary Central American cultures, politics, and societies. In effect, this book contests hegemonic and apparently commonsense views that assert that globalization produces global citizenship and globalized experiences. Instead it argues that a palpable desire for home and belonging survives and thrives in rapidly globalizing Central American homelands.
Book I, "Before Columbus and After, 1400--1820," focuses on the foundational origins of Puerto Rican poetry and the clash of competing visions embodied in the rich and heterogeneous corpus of anonymous popular verse forms. Book II, "The Creole Matrix: Notions of Nation, 1821--1950s," concentrates on the period in which a distinctively Puerto Rican consciousness emerged and the island's subsequent experience as a U. S. colony in the decades after the Spanish-Cuban-American War up to formal establishment of Commonwealth status. Books III and IV are devoted, respectively, to the era of insular "Critique, Revolt, and Renewal" in the mid-twentieth century, and to the "New Creoles, New Definitions" that developed in the late twentieth century, including the distinct and parallel growth of Puerto Rican poetry in the mainland United States.
In addition to a general introduction and concise biographical profiles of each poet, Márquez provides a detailed "Chronology" of the history of the island that has shaped the poets and informed their work. The resulting volume is a major contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Puerto Rican literature and the heterogeneous society in which it has been produced.
From disquieting humor to balladlike lyricism to folkloric wisdom, these pieces enact a tragic sense of life, depicting “madwomen” who are anything but mad. Strong and intensely human, Mistral’s poetic women confront impossible situations to which no sane response exists. This groundbreaking collection presents poems from Mistral’s final published volume as well as new editions of posthumous work, featuring the first English-language appearance of many essential poems. Madwomen promises to reveal a profound poet to a new generation of Anglophone readers while reacquainting Spanish readers with a stranger, more complicated “madwoman” than most have ever known.
Sor Juana (1651–1695) was a fiery feminist and a woman ahead of her time. Like Simone de Beauvoir, she was very much a public intellectual. Her contemporaries called her "the Tenth Muse" and "the Phoenix of Mexico," names that continue to resonate. An illegitimate child, self-taught intellectual, and court favorite, she rose to the height of fame as a writer in Mexico City during the Spanish Golden Age.
This volume includes Sor Juana's best-known works: "First Dream," her longest poem and the one that showcases her prodigious intellect and range, and "Response of the Poet to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz," her epistolary feminist defense—evocative of Mary Wollstonecraft and Emily Dickinson—of a woman's right to study and to write. Thirty other works—playful ballads, extraordinary sonnets, intimate poems of love, and a selection from an allegorical play with a distinctive New World flavor—are also included.
"I am a black man, born in Jamaica, B.W.I., and have been living in America for the last years. It was the first time I had ever come face to face with such manifest, implacable hate of my race, and my feelings were indescribable … Looking about me with bigger and clearer eyes I saw that this cruelty in different ways was going on all over the world. Whites were exploiting and oppressing whites even as they exploited and oppressed the yellows and blacks. And the oppressed, groaning under the leash, evinced the same despicable hate and harshness toward their weaker fellows. I ceased to think of people and things in the mass. [O]ne must seek for the noblest and best in the individual life only: each soul must save itself."
So wrote the first major poet of the Harlem Renaissance, whose collection of poetry, Harlem Shadows (1922), is widely regarded as having launched the movement. But McKay's literary significance goes far beyond his fierce condemnations of racial bigotry and oppression, as is amply demonstrated by the universal appeal of his sonnet, "If We Must Die," recited by Winston Churchill in a speech against the Nazis in World War II.
While in Jamaica, McKay produced two works of dialect verse, Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads, that were widely read on the island. In richly authentic dialect, the poet evoked the folksongs and peasant life of his native country. The present volume, meticulously edited and with an introduction by scholar Joan R. Sherman, includes a representative selection of this dialect verse, as well as uncollected poems, and a generous number in standard English from Harlem Shadows.
In House of Lords and Commons, the revelatory and vital new collection of poems from the winner of the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award in poetry, Ishion Hutchinson returns to the difficult beauty of the Jamaican landscape with remarkable lyric precision. Here, the poet holds his world in full focus but at an astonishing angle: from the violence of the seventeenth-century English Civil War as refracted through a mythic sea wanderer, right down to the dark interior of love.
These poems arrange the contemporary continuum of home and abroad into a wonderment of cracked narrative sequences and tumultuous personae. With ears tuned to the vernacular, the collection vividly binds us to what is terrifying about happiness, loss, and the lure of the sea. House of Lords and Commons testifies to the particular courage it takes to wade unsettled, uncertain, and unfettered in the wake of our shared human experience.
In the first book-length study written in English, Vanessa Pérez-Rosario examines poet and political activist Julia de Burgos's development as a writer, her experience of migration, and her legacy in New York City, the poet's home after 1940. Pérez-Rosario situates Julia de Burgos as part of a transitional generation that helps to bridge the historical divide between Puerto Rican nationalist writers of the 1930s and the Nuyorican writers of the 1970s. Becoming Julia de Burgos departs from the prevailing emphasis on the poet and intellectual as a nationalist writer to focus on her contributions to New York Latino/a literary and visual culture. It moves beyond the standard tragedy-centered narratives of de Burgos's life to place her within a nuanced historical understanding of Puerto Rico's peoples and culture to consider more carefully the complex history of the island and the diaspora. Pérez-Rosario unravels the cultural and political dynamics at work when contemporary Latina/o writers and artists in New York revise, reinvent, and riff off of Julia de Burgos as they imagine new possibilities for themselves and their communities.
The author offers a detailed examination of American chemical warfare policy as it was shaped by industry and public sentiment, as well as national and military leaders. The organization of the book into three parts reflects the importance of battlefield experiences during the First World War and of international political restraints as they evolved during the interwar years and culminated in "no first use" policies by major powers in World War II. Part I examines the use of chemical weapons in World War I as it influenced subsequent national policy decisions. Part II focuses on the evolution of political, military, economic, and psychological restraints from 1919 to 1939. Part III discusses World War II during two critical periods: 1939 to early 1942, when the environment of the war was being established largely without American influence; and during 1945, when the United States faced no credible threat of retaliation to deter its strategic and battlefield use of chemical weapons. Written at the height of controversy about the U.S. use of chemicals in Vietnam, Chemical Warfare offers a valuable historical perspective, as relevant now in its analysis of chemical and also nuclear policy as it was when first published.