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Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems
     

Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems

by Juan Gelman, Joan Lindgren
 

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Juan Gelman is Argentina's leading poet, but his work has been almost unknown in the United States until now. In 2000, he received the Juan Rulfo Award, one most important literary awards in the Spanish-speaking world, and in 2007, he received the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's top literary prize. With this selection, chosen and superbly translated

Overview


Juan Gelman is Argentina's leading poet, but his work has been almost unknown in the United States until now. In 2000, he received the Juan Rulfo Award, one most important literary awards in the Spanish-speaking world, and in 2007, he received the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's top literary prize. With this selection, chosen and superbly translated by Joan Lindgren, Gelman's lush and visceral poetry comes alive for an English-speaking readership.

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

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Chosen from the two collections of verse that Gelman wrote from 1971 to the mid-1980s, these poems serve to introduce U.S. readers to this leading Argentian poet. (His works have not been widely available here before.) Their themes arise from Gelman's own experiences: his Jewish heritage, the disappearance of his son and daughter-in-law during Argentina's Dirty War, his 20-year exile in Europe (he now lives in Mexico City), and his leftist revolutionary ideas. Imbued with anger and sorrow, often together ("I ate my portion of rage and sadness"), yet also at times poignant and brutal, as when recalling political imprisonment, these polymetric poems are capped by the heart-wrenching "Poem to My Mother" and the epistolary epilog to his unborn grandchild. A vivid testimony of an unsung voice who seeks in poetry the answer to and means of coping with suffering and with life. [In March, Gelman was awarded the national poetry prize of Argentina, the equivalent of U.S. Poet Laureate.Ed.]Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520205871
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/01/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
212
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)

Meet 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.

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