The Black Heralds

Overview

Throughout his life, César Vallejo (1892–1938) focused on human suffering and the isolation of people victimized by inexplicable forces. One of the great Spanish language poets, he merged radical politics and language consciousness, resulting in the first examples of a truly new world poetry.

The Black Heralds is Vallejo’s first book and contains a wide range of poems, from love sonnets in which he struggles to free his erotic life from the bounds of Spanish Catholicism to the ...

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Overview

Throughout his life, César Vallejo (1892–1938) focused on human suffering and the isolation of people victimized by inexplicable forces. One of the great Spanish language poets, he merged radical politics and language consciousness, resulting in the first examples of a truly new world poetry.

The Black Heralds is Vallejo’s first book and contains a wide range of poems, from love sonnets in which he struggles to free his erotic life from the bounds of Spanish Catholicism to the linguistically inventive sequence, "Imperial Nostalgias," where he parodies with considerable savagery the pastoral romanticism of Indian and rural life.

In this bilingual volume, translator Rebecca Seiferle attempts to undo the "colonization" of Vallejo in other translations. As Seiferle writes in her introduction: "Reading and translating Vallejo has been a long process of trying to meet him on his own terms, to discover what those terms were within the contexts of his particular time and, finally, taking his word for it."

from "Our Bread"

And in this frigid hour, when the earth
smells of human dust and is so sad,
I want to knock on every door
and beg forgiveness of I don’t know whom,
and bake bits of fresh bread for him,
here, in the oven of my heart...!

César Vallejo (1892–1938) was born in Peru to a family of mixed Spanish and native descent. He wrote two books of poetry, the second of which was partly composed during a short prison term. Disappointed by the reception of his poetry in his own country, Vallejo moved to Paris, where he became active in Marxist politics and the antifascist campaign in Spain, while publishing essays, political -articles, a play, and short stories. Vallejo died in Paris, in utter poverty, on the day Franco’s armies entered Madrid.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Few poets have ever expressed the human condition as Vallejo did . . . From the very first line, the discerning reader is convinced that what follows will be a profound literary experience, a view of life perceived from a harrowingly surrealistic perspective."  —Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556591990
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Language: Spanish
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,048,506
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

César Vallejo was a celebrated Peruvian poet and considered among the greatest poets of the 20th century. He also wrote several novels and plays, some of which were never performed during his lifetime. Richard Schaaf is a translator who has also rendered works by Pablo Neruda into English. Kathleen Ross is a translator of books that include Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism and The Initials of the Earth.

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Table of Contents

Cesar Vallejo : The Thread of Indigenous Blood
The Black Heralds 3
Sacred Defoliation 7
Communion 9
Nervous Fit of Anguish 11
Gunwales of Ice 13
Christmas Eve 15
Embers 17
Midlight 19
Willow 21
Absent 23
Ostrich 25
Under the Poplars 27
The Spider 31
Babel 33
Pilgrimage 35
The Narrow Theater Box 37
.........? 41
The Poet to His Beloved 43
Summer 45
September 47
Dregs 49
Godless woman 51
The Black Cup 53
Untimely Time 55
Fresco 57
Chalk 59
Imperial Nostalgias 63
Leaves of Ebony 69
Autochthonic Tercet 73
Prayer of the Road 77
Huaco 79
May 81
Rustic 85
Dead Idyll 89
In the Greek Tents 93
Agape 95
Voice of the Mirror 97
White Rose 99
Win a Thousand 101
Our Bread 103
Absolute 107
Capitulation 109
Nude in Clay 111
Lines 113
Forbidden Love 115
The Miserable Supper 117
For the Impossible Soul of My Beloved 119
Eternal Bridal Bed 121
The Stones 123
Retablo 125
Pagan Woman 127
The Eternal Dice 129
Weary Circles 131
Lives of the Saints 133
Rain 135
Love 137
God 139
Unity 141
Mule Drivers 143
The Adjustment of Fever 147
Distant Footsteps 149
To My Brother Miguel 151
Januaraeneid 153
Exegesis 157
Notes and Original Versions 161
About the Author 187
About the Translator 195
Index of Spanish Titles 197
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