This first translation of the complete poetry of Peruvian César Vallejo (1892-1938) makes available to English speakers one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century world poetry. Handsomely presented in facing-page Spanish and English, this volume, translated by National Book Award winner Clayton Eshleman, includes the groundbreaking collections The Black Heralds (1918), Trilce (1922), Human Poems (1939), and Spain, Take This Cup from Me (1939).
Vallejo's poetry takes the Spanish language to an unprecedented level of emotional rawness and stretches its grammatical possibilities. Striking against theology with the very rhetoric of the Christian faith, Vallejo's is a tragic vision—perhaps the only one in the canon of Spanish-language literature—in which salvation and sin are one and the same. This edition includes notes on the translation and a fascinating translation memoir that traces Eshleman's long relationship with Vallejo's poetry. An introduction and chronology provide further insights into Vallejo's life and work.
Foreword / Mario Vargas Llosa
Introduction / Efraín Kristal
Los heraldos negros —The Black Heralds
Plafones ágiles — Agile Soffits
Buzos — Divers
De la tierra — Of the Earth
Nostalgias imperiales — Imperial Nostalgias
Truenos — Thunderclaps
Canciones de hogar — Songs of Home
Poemas humanos — Human Poems
España, aparta de mí este cáliz — Spain, Take This Cup from Me
Afterword: A Translation Memoir
Appendix: A Chronology of Vallejo’s Life and Works / Stephen M. Hart
Index of Spanish Titles and First Lines
Index of English Titles and First Lines
Poet and essayist Clayton Eshleman is a recipient of the National Book Award and the Landon Translation Prize. He is the cotranslator of César Vallejo: The Complete Posthumous Poetry and Aimé Césaire: The Collected Poetry, both from UC Press. Among Mario Vargas Llosa's prestigious literary awards are the National Critics' Prize, the Peruvian National Prize, and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize. He is the author of more than twenty books. Efrain Kristal is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. Stephen M. Hart is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at University College, London.
"César Vallejo is the greatest Catholic poet since Dante—and by Catholic I mean universal."—Thomas Merton, author of The Seven Storey Mountain
"An astonishing accomplishment. Eshleman's translation is writhing with energy."—Forrest Gander, author of Eye Against Eye
"Vallejo has emerged for us as the greatest of the great South American poets—a crucial figure in the making of the total body of twentieth-century world poetry. In Clayton Eshleman's spectacular translation, now complete, this most tangled and most rewarding of poets comes at us full blast and no holds barred. A tribute to the power of the imagination as it manifests through language in a world where meaning has always to be fought for and, as here, retrieved against the odds."—Jerome Rothenberg, co-editor of Poems for the Millennium
"Every great poet should be so lucky as to have a translator as gifted and heroic as Clayton Eshleman, who seems to have gotten inside Vallejo's poems and translated them from the inside out. The result is spectacular, or as one poem says, 'green and happy and dangerous.'"—Ron Padgett, translator of Complete Poems by Blaise Cendrars
"César Vallejo was one of the essential poets of the twentieth century, a heartbreaking and groundbreaking writer, and this gathering of the many years of imaginative work by Clayton Eshleman is one of Vallejo's essential locations in the English tongue."—Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States
"This is a crucially important translation of one of the poetic geniuses of the twentieth century." —William Rowe, author of Poets of Contemporary Latin America: History and the Inner Life
"Only the dauntless perseverance and the love with which the translator has dedicated so many years of his life to this task can explain why the English version conveys, in all its boldness and vigor, the unmistakable voice of César Vallejo."—Mario Vargas Llosa
Shortlist, Griffin Poetry Prize, Griffin Trust
The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, Academy of American Poets
2008 Canadian and International Shortlist, Griffin Poetry Prize
2007 Book Sense Poetry Top Ten, Book Sense
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