12 ene. 2006

Mayhew's Law: If a contemporary American poet cites one and only one Spanish language poet, that poet will be Lorca.

Examples: Koch, Ginsberg, Creeley, Spicer, Rothenberg, Langston Hughes, WCW. KK includes Lorca in "Fresh Air" and in his pedagogical works. Rothenberg has translated Lorca but includes only Lorca in the Poems for the Millennium--no other poet from Spain. (There are a few Latin Americans.)

If a poet cites or translates several Spanish-language poets, this law does not apply. Eshelman, Bly, Wright, Merwin, Strand...

There may be cases of poets who are limited to Neruda. That would falsify Mayhew's law.

[Update: There are cases in which a poet will give pride of place to Lorca, but still be interested in some other poets. WCW, for example, who translated some Parra. This does not falsify Mayhew's Law.]

5 comentarios:

nolapoet dijo...

Guilty as charged. But with good reason.

Martí is not cited often enough.


Behrle, Prince of Trolls dijo...

sign the petition at




Tony dijo...

Vallejo, yo.

Me gusta some o' that Vallejo.

(who is probably #3)

Parra....eh, not so much.

GJPW dijo...

If I had to cite one Spanish-language poet it would be Juan Sánchez Peláez.

My impression of Ginsberg is that he was widely-read in Latin American poetry. He met Martín Adán in Peru and was friends w/ Parra and Cardenal. At Naropa in '93 he talked about the Venezuelan avant-garde group from the late '50s, El Techo de la Ballena.


John dijo...

WCW translated some Paz, too, if I'm not mistaken. Still, doesn't falsify your law.

And Hughes translated Villaurrutia, I think. Or maybe it was the other way around.

Add Amiri Baraka to your list?