From Publishers Weekly
A collection of poetry translated by Mark Strand, Looking for Poetry: Poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Rafael Alberti and Songs from the Quechua includes (though twice-removed, via Andrade's Portuguese and Alberti's Spanish) the incantatory verse of the Quechua Indians, who live in Peru and Bolivia. Andrade (1902-1987), a Brazilian-born modernist who began writing in the 1920s, remains one of the best-known Portuguese-language poets. Alberti (1902-1999), a Spaniard exiled to Argentina during the Civil War, elaborates the twin themes of nostalgia and displacement.
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Readers familiar with Pulitzer Prize winner Strand's restrained yet profoundly evocative work will instantly understand his affinity for the spare and ironic poems of twentieth-century Brazilian poet Andrade and the imaginatively elegiac work of Alberti, who lived in Argentina in exile from Spain and the Spanish civil war. Andrade's lyrics are wry, tender, and teasing, the brunt of the poet's emotions held back in the belief that laughter is better than despondency. Yet for all their circumspection, Andrade's lyrics do reach the very core of human experience: "World, wide world, / my heart is bigger / than you are." Alberti is edgier, his tropes more complex, his vision more shadowy. Strand astutely bridges these two major modern voices with the timeless love and nature poems of the Quechuas, who live on the tableland of Peru and Bolivia. Translating poetry is an empathic art, the result, in Strand's gifted hands, a potent amalgam of sense and sensibility. A new Strand paperback is also available, The Story of Our Lives
(0-375-70975-4), an invaluable compilation of three long out-of-print collections from the seventies. Donna SeamanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved