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Meanwhile Take My Hand

Overview

The American debut of Basque writer Kirmen Uribe's "simple, devastating poems" (Bob Holman)

Whenever we're saddened everything looks dark,

When we're heartened, again, the world crumbles.

Every one of us keeps forever someone else's hidden side,

If it's a secret, if a mistake, if a gesture.

—from "May"

Kirmen Uribe has become one of the ...

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Overview

The American debut of Basque writer Kirmen Uribe's "simple, devastating poems" (Bob Holman)

Whenever we're saddened everything looks dark,

When we're heartened, again, the world crumbles.

Every one of us keeps forever someone else's hidden side,

If it's a secret, if a mistake, if a gesture.

—from "May"

Kirmen Uribe has become one of the best-known Basque-language writers—an important contemporary voice from a vital but largely unknown language. Meanwhile Take My Hand presents Uribe's poetry to American readers in both the original and in the poet Elizabeth Macklin's skillful and award-winning translations.

In these poems are the drug addicts of Spanish fishing towns, the paved-over rivers of urbanized medieval cities, the remains of loving relationships, whether entirely uprooted or making do with a companionable silence. The Basque phrase Bitartean heldu eskutik, which became the book's title—Meanwhile Take My Hand—Uribe has said is "what you say when there's nothing at all you can say."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Kirmen Uribe's work is] an urban poetry, made with a special rhythm, direct and piercing . . . a poetry that has assimilated the legacy of the Basque oral tradition and come to rest in the twenty-first century: 'reality's bonemarrow / resides in its pieces.'" —The Barcelona Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555974589
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,297,232
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirmen Uribe was born in Ondarroa, Spain, in 1970. His debut poetry collection won Spain’s 2001 Premio de la Critica.

Elizabeth Macklin’s translations of Uribe have appeared in The New Yorker, and in 2005 she won a PEN Translation Fund grant.

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Table of Contents

Introduction and a note on this translation by Elizabeth Macklin

Ibaia

The River

One / Bat

Irla

The Island

Bisita

Visit

Arriskua

Danger

Loren

Loren

Pagoa

The Beech Tree

Mohammed

Mohammed

Maite zaitut, ez

I Love You, No

Kardiograma

Cardiogram

Two / Bi

Gerraostea

Postwar

Txoriak neguan

Birds in Winter

Gereziondoa

The Cherry Tree

Teknologia

Technology

John Keats-en hilartitzaz

After John Keat's Gravestone

Three / Hiru

Arima gaiztoak

Evil Spirits

Sagarrak

Apples

Musua

The Kiss

Zuhaitzen denbora

The Space-Times of Trees

Haiku

Haiku

Gauza perfektuak

Things That Are Perfect

Ez da egia

It Isn't True

Four / Lau

Bidaztia sorterriaz mintzo da

The Traveler Speaks of His Birthplace

Amesgaiztoa

Bad Dream

Bidaia kaiera: Bhutan

Travel Notes: Bhutan

Memoria historikoa

Historical Memory

Sasiakazia

Animalien hiskuntza

The Language of Animals

Hiskuntza bat

A Language

Hodeiak

Clouds

Five / Bost

Ezin esan

No Saying

Bada beldur bat

There's a Fear

Gadda

Gadda

Igogailua

The Elevator

Arrain-ontzia

The Fishbowl

Six / Sei

Aresti-Duchamp xake partida

The Aresti-Duchamp Chess Game

Seven / Zazpi

Ez eman hautatzeko

Don't Make It a Choice

Urrezko eraztuna

The Gold Ring

Oroimen ariketa

Memory Exercise

Kukua

The Cuckoo

Aparte-apartean

Way Off Over There

Notak paper solte batean

Notes on a Loose Piece of Paper

Maiatza

May

Afterword: Anus mundi

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