Unfortunately, there have been very few English translations of their work. A young poet, critic, and translator, S. Stone, is changing that by translating what will be the only full-length English collection of a Spanish-language Uruguayan poet. For publication here, I've made cuts in the long poem, damaging its texture but hopefully whetting your appetite for more. If you want to see the poem in Spanish or the rest of the translation, I've provided links to Machado's blog and Stone's contact information.
I would row with you brother, turn toward you without dead or apples. With a child's fingers and crumbs of bread I'd dump your body on soft dirt. There'd be no wave of stone, only your skin luminous as a dog's back and its brilliant wet shining jaws. I'll cover my feet with oil, strip myself of ornaments. Are you astonished by my smooth body, my crowded heart? And when you untie the strings, you'll see lying at my feet the cutest pet: bowls to dip your fingers in.
He was imperially macho and to each ass cheek would give a little dimple, his ferocious teeth breaking bra straps spewing crumbs. Like newly bathed puppies clean, soft we surfaced, my petticoats lifted by the water. These are your limited goods: words of sand, scratches from a feather. Without water to calm your thirst, or a stone to cradle. We kept the salt from your eyes in amphoras, set them in a safe place. We aged liquids spilled for the family, worthy substances like milk, blood and even semen. Nothing foul-smelling, nothing that would stain our stock.
Vessels with exquisite nectars, honeys and familiar oils. Wineskins full of sweat, collected on unrepeatable occasions: incest, weddings, births, vampire nights…. And there weapons and coins would rest while new members of the lineage were being added. Ah, Supervielle. It's strange that there's so little of his work available in English beyond a few short and aging selecteds and an expensive academic tome or two.
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I know that Moniza Alvi is assembling a whole book of her versions of Supervielle for Bloodaxe - but why isn't this poet better represented on English-language shelves?? I don't think I've ever before been put in the same company with Lautreamont. I'd say it's about time. But seriously, Forrest has spaced-out including Jules Laforgue so important to Eliot and others , also originally of Uruguay. As I write, somewhat archaically, in a piece scheduled to appear early next year: " So Supervielle, dear friend of Rilke and Michaux, loved by Celan, a man whom nigh everyone thinks of as inly Frenchman, is native Uruguayan.
And you know what? Wisteth that, peradventure? Hardly anyone in these parts does. Little Uruguay, country with a tail of straw, home of three giant poets at the core of modern French poetry and beyond…" Forrest and I were in Uruguay and Argentina last December, where he chose to spend his time drinking in seedy tango bars and doing interviews with fawning reporters, while I was pounding the pavement doing research for an anthology of post-WWII Uruguayan poetry. I'm working on this with the assistance of Roberto Echavarren, one of Uruguay's greatest poets, and Amir Hamad, one of the country's foremost literary critics.
So the collection is sure to be representative. Machado will be in the book. Forrest is absolutely right about the prevalence of women poets in Uruguay. There may be no other nation in the world, in fact, where such a dominant percentage of women hold sway in the canon. One poet to note here, whom almost no one has heard of yet in these parts, but who is increasingly regarded as one of the most spectacular and strange Latin American poets of the past fifty years, is the recently-late Marosa di Giorgio, whose prose-poetry fables are gorgeous and mind-boggling, and in often disturbing ways.
In the past decade, or so, her popularity among Spanish-language readers has skyrocketed.
When I was in Montevideo, I spoke with her sister and executor, who told me that Pedro Almodovar had just weeks before begun discussions with her for a film based on di Giorgio's work. The fine poet and translator Susan Briante will be translating her for the anthology. Who knows? Susan may become wealthy. Viva Uruguay, pais de la cola de paja.
And as I say to my students, always proofread before sending to the Comment Box at the Harriet blog. I'd like to put in a plug here for Liz Henry, a poet and translator in Redwood City who has done some wonderful translations of South American women poets. I published four of her translations of Juana de Ibarbourou in the print edition of XANTIPPE which is still available, poets may feel free to contact me at xantippemag at yahoo dot com if interested in obtaining a copy.
Great to see Mel out there. Probably unrelated, but it is worth mentioning that Uruguay was the first country in LA in approving divorce only by will of the wife and Delmira Agustini was, certainly, the first woman divorcing by that law, in her ex. But there is someone not mentioned who has been even more relevant to world poetry. Probably the most important Uruguayan poet writing in Spanish language was Julio Herrera y Reissig Last week I noticed, by chance, that Yale Literary Dictionary -to quote someone, anyway- says that he was the best modernista in Latin America -an opinion that several critics of Lat American poetry would probably confirm.
Very difficult to translate him without significant lost of poetry. In any case Thanks for this, the translation of Melisa's poetry is awesome : Aldo Mazzucchelli. Don, And someone needs to translate Supervielle's fabulous short novel, El hombre de las pampas, which is set in a land much like Uruguay.
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Magical Realism on steroids, about forty years before the Boom Herrera y Reisig is spectacular. Forget the famous "agony" of translation; it was methamphetaminate fun. That Supervielle novel Kent mentions, El hombre de las pampas, sounds a lot like a Cesar Aira novel which has been translated into English by Chris Andrews as An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter and concerns a painter who, convinced of Alexander von Humboldt's theories of "landscape physiognomy," heads into the Argentine pampas for astonishing and strange interractions that alter his body and being.
I remember talking to Aira in Buenos Aires about his book when Kent showed up of course interrupting us to blather on, as ever, about some piddling experience he had just had involving running into an old friend. Nueva York; Londres: Routledge.
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Current Practices and Controversies in Assisted Reproduction. Geneva: World Health Organization. Social Research, the Basics. Londres: Sage p. The Second Sex. Londres: New English Library. The History of Sexuality, Vol. Londres: Allen Lane. Maternidades en el siglo XXI. Buenos Aires: Espacio Editorial. Le sens du mal: anthropologie, histoire, sociologie de la maladie. Men and Masculinities. Buenos Aires: Biblos. Fertility and Sterility.
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LUNA, Florencia. En busca de un nuevo modelo". Mayo de The Body in Everyday Life. Londres: Routledge. A Model of Motherhood". Psychology of Women Quarterly. Identidad, memoria y relato. Resultados [on line]. Shin, Pablo E. Requena, Anita Kemp. Language Skills in Down Syndrome. Natalia Arias-Trejo, Julia B. About this book Introduction Prominent researchers from the US, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Spain contribute experimental reports on language development of children who are acquiring Spanish.
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