No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura Lopez-Colome

Overview

A Lannan Translation Selection

Beautifully translated by the award-winning American poet Forrest Gander, the work of highly esteemed Mexican poet Pura López-Colomé is, with this important volume, available in the US for the first time. Selected by Gander from throughout López-Colomé's five books in Spanish, these exceptional poems confront the confinements of fate, history, and misbegotten beliefs.

In forms that blur back and forth between ...

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Overview

A Lannan Translation Selection

Beautifully translated by the award-winning American poet Forrest Gander, the work of highly esteemed Mexican poet Pura López-Colomé is, with this important volume, available in the US for the first time. Selected by Gander from throughout López-Colomé's five books in Spanish, these exceptional poems confront the confinements of fate, history, and misbegotten beliefs.

In forms that blur back and forth between poetry and prose, López-Colomé uses spare and honest language to describe the music of dreams, faith, and faithlessness; hers are poems of the soul resuscitated from the shackles of the body. As Gander notes in his Introduction: "[This] poetry is philosophical and exacting, pared into short, sharp lines, obsidian flakes." Indeed, the fierce intelligence and insistent moral and spiritual engagement of López-Colomé's poetry situate her among the most significant contemporary Mexican poets. No Shelter is a bilingual edition, with English translations appearing in the first half of the text and the Spanish originals in the second.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Born in Mexico City in 1952, Pura Lopez-Colom has translated such writers as Seamus Heaney, Virginia Woolf and Samuel Beckett, and has been translated into English by poet Forrest Gander (Torn Awake). The Selected Poems of Pura Lopez-Colom features recent work in a variety of forms, from prose poetry to more abstract lyrics that center on love, religion, memory and their subversion. The English versions of these seven longish poems are followed by the Spanish. One section of "Aurora" ends: "My hand melts there, where nothing is missing. Your skin has been cauterized sweetly. And you're still alive." (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555973605
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 102
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Mexico City in 1952, Pura López-Colomé is the author of five books of verse in Spanish. She has also translated works by Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, Seamus Heaney, and Gertrude Stein into her native language. She lives in Cueravaca with her family.

Forrest Gander is the author of many celebrated collections of experimental poetry, including Torn Awake, Deeds of Utmost Kindness, and Science & Steepleflower.

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Table of Contents

ENGLISH

I. No Shelter

Prism

II. Aurora

Aurora

III. No Shelter

The Cubs

Death of the Kiss

Dramatis Personae

Heartache

IV. One Crystal in Another

One Crystal in Another

SPANISH

I. Intemperie

Prisma

II. Aurora

Aurora

III. Intemperie

Los Cachorros

La Muerte del Beso

Dramatis Personae

Dolor de Corazón

IV. Un cristal en otro

Un Cristal en Otro

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First Chapter

No Shelter


By Pura Lopez-Colome Forrest Gander

Graywolf Press

ISBN: 1-55597-360-4


Chapter One

I FOLLOW YOU To see oneself without the world, not to recognize oneself in the mirror. How fragile we are, and frail, made only of meat and bone. The finest feelings come clear in the tangible memory of someone whose appearance is already intangible. As children, we swallow the void, what is yours without you, me. Wanting a voice to fill us, we strain to hear echoes within which never stop dreaming of their origins. Happy is she who can face all that withdraws and remains. from AURORA III. Many your heavens, plentiful your spheres turning as one singular open earth, in whose center boils the water of light. Its remembrance brings vision to those who, seconds before death, want nothing. The ear, and within, the void's tiny echo. DRAMATIS PERSONAE My voice went on, its tones varying. It paused. It believed it could not go on and it continued. In this manner it articulated a path never before described, a place of which it was part without knowing it. To which it returned afterward. It opened its doors, allowing a beginning for the ears. The cochlea surging forward, satiating all expectations, penetrating the body in whelming red. Later your blizzard voice from the bowers of hibernal forests, orchards in the tundra, from the oak, the cedar, and from the tamarind, blew across the awakened ones who continue on their way savoring the dry melodies of thunder. DEATH OF THE KISS You, prayer, you, blasphemy, you, razor in the prayer of my silence. - Paul Celan Fons I wanted to find you inside me, knowing the concavities of that dark place would give me vertigo. I wanted, I searched out your face. I wanted, any way I could, to contemplate the part of you within me that would bring along the rest and join my mouth to yours, others, to see how the dream goes. To know that in all, there are two salivas, rivers of life, influent, influential, to know that I know, what I know, fiery tongues submerged in this sea of enigmas, gold, bathed in gold. The Word comes forth spoken and it is death written down, a divine substance eternally kissing the sheen of a marine light. Mors osculi formed of loving, desiring, deciphering the pure, the impure figure, a language that says In the beginning conjugated and sublimated: I am that I am, come to me, approach with your mouth open, feel my breath, fill yourself on the Name, open your eyes and you will see Nothing.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from No Shelter by Pura Lopez-Colome Forrest Gander Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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