Threnody for Joaquin Pasos & Other Poems

Author(s): RIVAS, Carlos Martinez
ISBN13/Barcode: 9780473367503
The first & only volume of authorised translations of the great Nicaraguan poet Carlos Martínez Rivas.

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"To make a poem was to plan the perfect crime. / To contrive an immaculate lie / whose purity made it true." (Carlos Martinez Rivas) There are few English translations of the great and often difficult Carlos Martinez Rivas (1924-1998), a passionate and linguistically brilliant Nicaraguan poet - celebrated throughout the Hispanic world, but still almost unknown to English readers - who raised a "solitary insurrection" against society's oppressive orthodoxies and hypocrisies. A handful have appeared over the years in journals and anthologies, but these are the first to be published as a collection. The twenty-five poems translated here include several of the "major" poems as well as a few "minor" and occasional ones--from the youthful idealism of "El paraiso recobrado" via the fatalism of "La puesta en sepulcro" to the illusion-stripped "Los amores"--providing at least a taste of this multi-dimensional poet's concerns: love, loss, friendship, mortality, integrity, the visual arts, cats, and alcoholism among them. An aversion to public success and its trappings, along with a dread of typographical errors, contributed to his reluctance to see his work in print, and "El paraiso recobrado" (Granada, 1943) and "La insurreccion solitaria" (Mexico, 1953, reprinted numerous times) were the only books of his poetry he permitted to be published in his lifetime. The first was a long metaphysical love poem published when he was only eighteen, the latter included what is widely regarded as his masterpiece, "Canto funebre a la muerte de Joaquin Pasos", a funeral poem for his great friend and fellow poet, Joaquin Pasos, who died in 1947 at the age of 33. In "Los Anos de Granada" (2002) Ernesto Cardenal has written of the young Martinez Rivas: "...I never knew anyone, anywhere, with the genius for poetry Carlos had in those days. Add to this his fabulous memory, his scintillating conversation, his charm, his sense of humour, his guitar. Lorca must have been just like him." Alcoholic in later life, and "at the mercy of his art" (to borrow John Berryman's phrase about Mozart), he could be "difficult, problematic, solitary ...One had to approach him with caution" (Jose Coronel Urtecho). "Few poets have loved and hated life as much as Carlos Martinez Rivas. His whole oeuvre is one of rebellion and daring, of a profound tenderness and an irrepressible anger." --Nicasio Urbina "A lone voice once surreal and deeply human." --Rogelio Guedea "Our extraordinary wild cat who once took the elite of Spanish America by surprise ...who remained at the margins he favoured, untamed and unique ...our greatest poet after Dario." --Blanca Castellon Carlos Martinez Rivas was born of Nicaraguan parents in Puerto de Ocoz (Guatemala) on 12 October 1924. At sixteen he won a national poetry competition and was compared to Ruben Dario. At eighteen, while still at high school, he wrote his long poem "Paraiso recobrado" ("Paradise regained"). Published in 1944 it is considered one of the most important and influential events in the history of Nicaraguan poetry. After high school he continued his studies for several years in Madrid, where, say his biographers, he developed his taste for alcohol and the night. In 1953 he published, in Mexico, "La insurreccion solitaria" ("The solitary insurrection") but from then on an aversion to public success and its trappings, along with a dread of typographical errors, contributed to his reluctance to see his work in print, and he never published another collection. He worked for the diplomatic service of his country in Paris, Los Angeles, Madrid, San Jose (Costa Rica); and returned to Nicaragua after the Sandinista revolution. In 1985 he was awarded the "Ruben Dario" Prize. He was responsible for a chair at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma Managua. His collected poems, "Poesia Reunida de Carlos Martinez Rivas", edited by Pablo Centeno-Gomez, was published in 2007. "Como toca un ciego el sueno", an anthology chosen by Centeno-Gomez, appeared in 2012. He died in Managua on June 16, 1998, as a result of chronic alcoholism. A few months before his death he had appointed the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua executor of his literary papers, and asked to be buried in Granada.

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9780473367503
ISBN10 0473367505
Author RIVAS, Carlos Martinez
Binding Paperback
Date Published 31 Oct 2016
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 112
Publisher Cold Hub Press

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