Century of the Death of the Rose: Selected Poems of Jorge Carrera Andrade
The poetry of Jorge Carrera Andrade is at last being rediscovered.
Long forgotten-- or demoted-- in the list of major Latin American poets, playing second-fiddle to Huidoro and Neruda, barely mentioned in praises to Borges and Dario-- finally, the imagery of Andrade is in process of translation & recovery for a modern American audience.
And what an amazing gift it is here in the first years of the 21st century.
We've already had The Century of the Death of the Rose from Steven Ford Brown (New South Books: 2002) and his work in reviving the reputation of this poet. And now we have, from 2011 (Wave Books), this outstanding reprint of Micrograms in a replica edition of 1940 & translated into amazingly clear English.
My cup runneth over!
The translators have done a great service to those of us whose knowledge of Spanish pretty much stops at the classroom door.
And while Brown's work exhibits the astonishing lyrical gifts of Andrade, attesting to his boyhood in Ecuador & later life in the great world, this small volume, translated by Alejeandro de Acosta & Joshua Beckman, answers to the range & interest of of his poetic studies-- Japanese & oriental influence in producing tiny gems that resonate strongly in the reader's mind: in other words, haiku & tiny poems of five or six lines.
My favorite: Palm Reader-- Atop the lines of a leaf/the slow finger of the catepillar/ deciphers good fortune.
Is that or is that not wonderful?
The volume also includes in the first half the essay Origin and Future of the Microgram-- and in the 2nd half the translations of Haiku that Andrade made from Japanese into Spanish. They have chosen to opt for translation from the Spanish rather than going back into the Oriental language.
The reviewer's job, as far as this writer can tell, is to recommend for his readers the most intelligent & well-written works he can find.
I can go no further than the present considered tome. For lovers of poetry, this is indeed a work to be cherished