Morning Papers

Over the next few days I'll be posting two translations from El Nacional:

Adriana Villanueva, "Crónica de un poeta en el parque," 4 Junio 2003.

Jesús Sanoja Hernández, "Venezuela saudita," 1 Octubre 2004.

Villanueva's piece recalls a workshop she attended in Caracas with Armando Rojas Guardia. Historian and poet Sanoja Hernández discusses Venezuela's 1970s oil boom era and its relation to today's crisis.


Two recent poems by Michael Hofmann remind me why I like his work so much. A bleakness acknowledged and deepened through bilingual grief, grey humor. His struggle with/against the border between English and German is finely arrayed, always taut.

"A soft freeze. The woods are rusty stone, henna fuzz ravines,
snow slicks. Ice blinds and dries. Dazzles and steams.
Swans outside Croton. I sit in the train,

at the very back of the last car,
ruing every mile. Some sort of folly and exhiliration.
A caffeinated feeling of being all heart."

{ Michael Hofmann, "Hudson Ride," Poetry, September 2004 }


Thanks to Mark for Fulcrum 3, which includes a long feature (mini-anthology) on the Berkeley Renaissance. Two 1950s photos of Robert Duncan on a Boston rooftop, a typewritten letter from Charles Olson, plenty of great things I look forward to reading.


Saw Francisco Goldman read a few nights ago from his new novel, The Divine Husband (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004) , which is based on José Martí's years in Guatemala. Goldman spoke about Martí's fifteen years in New York and that city's influence on his work. I can't remember how long Martí lived in Tampa, where he worked as a lector for several cigar factories. The beautiful park in his honor in Ybor City was locked when I passed by it last summer, a lush garden with a map of Cuba in tiles behind his alabaster figure, arm outstreched. Goldman mentioned how Martí approached his journalistic writing with the same passion he had for poetry. As it should be.


"La ciudad con televisoras hermanas a la mesa"


"I am a believer now dreaming
is really a threat to knowledge"

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