2 mar. 2009


*Antonio Cisneros. Por la noche los gatos.. 1989. 275 pp.

This is a healthy selection of Peruvian poet Cisnero's poetry from the early 60s to the mid 80s. There is wonderful poem in which the speaker has the job of educating people about the parts of a cow. It's called "Muchos escritores tienen que dedicarse a la enseñana" (original title is in quotation marks, so maybe that should be double quotes: "'Many writers have to go into teaching'").

Años ya que estoy en este oficio: tomar la vaca entera (o sus indicios / su representación),
mostrarla, señalar sus veinte puntos, nombrar como en un mapa lo que habrá de caer bajo el cuchillo...

(I've been in this profession for years: taking the whole cow (or its indices / its representation),
demonstrating it, showing its twenty points, naming as in a map what must fall under the knife...)

Cisnero's learned the long line from the beats and from Robert Lowell. His poems might take place in the interior of a whale, in Peru, or in Hungary. He is fond of the word "pellejo" (skin, hide of animal, metaphorically that of a person as well).

I only read 12 books of poetry in February, though some I started then I'm only finishing now.

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