A Poet in New York

Overview


“The definitive version of Lorca’s masterpiece, in language that is as alive and molten today as was the original.”—John Ashbery

Newly translated for the first time in ten years, Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York is an astonishing depiction of a tumultuous metropolis that changed the course of poetic expression in both Spain and the Americas. Written during Lorca’s nine months at Columbia University at the beginning of the Great Depression, Poet in New York is widely considered one of the most important ...

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Poet in New York: A Bilingual Edition

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Overview


“The definitive version of Lorca’s masterpiece, in language that is as alive and molten today as was the original.”—John Ashbery

Newly translated for the first time in ten years, Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York is an astonishing depiction of a tumultuous metropolis that changed the course of poetic expression in both Spain and the Americas. Written during Lorca’s nine months at Columbia University at the beginning of the Great Depression, Poet in New York is widely considered one of the most important books Lorca produced. This influential collection portrays a New York City populated with poverty, racism, social turbulence, and solitude—a New York intoxicating in its vitality and beauty. After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, poets Pablo Medina and Mark Statman were struck by how closely this seventy-year-old work spoke to the atmosphere of New York. They were compelled to create a new English version using a contemporary poet’s eye, which upholds Lorca’s surrealistic technique, mesmerizing complexity, and fierce emotion unlike any other translation to date. A defining work of modern literature, Poet in New York is a thrilling exposition of one American city that continues to change our perspective on the world around us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The great Spanish modernist García Lorca (1898-1936) didn't much like the Big Apple: depressed by the grime, the crowds and the tall new buildings, aghast at American capitalism with its big winners and its destitute losers, uneasy with his identity as a gay man, fascinated (and sometimes repelled) by street culture in Harlem and homesick for his native Andalusia, he turned his year at Columbia University in 1929-30 into some of the fiercest, unhappiest and strangest poems of the century. This facing-page translation-inspired, the translators say, by 9/11-preserves the oddities and the angers in Lorca's metaphor-loaded free verse. The famous "Ode to Walt Whitman" salutes the "Fairies of North America,/ Pajaros of Havana," hoping against hope to resist self-hate. Interludes in Vermont and a coda in Cuba suggest the mystical ties with nature that Lorca could not find in Manhattan. Yet the dominant note is a brilliant hostility: at "Dawn in New York," "furious swarms of coins/ drill and devour the abandoned children." The Chrysler Building suggests "a million iron workers/ forging chains for the children to come." Lorca's power, and the translators' fidelity, make this a worthy new version of a 20th-century classic. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802143532
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/21/2007
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 476,289
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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