Gelman is a stark witness to the brutality of power, and his poems reflect his suffering at the hands of the Argentine military government (his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild were "disappeared"). While political idealism infuses his writing, he is not a servant of ideology. Themes of family, exile, the tango, Argentina, and Gelman's Jewish heritage resonate throughout his poems, works that celebrate life while confronting heartache and loss.
"remembering their little bones when it rains/ the compañerosstomp on darkness/set forth from death/wander the tender night/I hear their voices like living faces"—from Remembering Their Little Bones
About the author
Born in Buenos Aires in 1930, Juan Gelman went into political exile in Europe in 1976, where he remained until 1989. Today he lives in Mexico City. Joan Lindgren spent seven years studying Gelman's work and made six visits to Argentina while doing her research.