The Selected Poetry of Vicente Huidobro
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“He is the invisible oxygen of our poetry."―Octavio Paz
This book is the only major collection of the great Chilean writer Vicente Huidobro’s poetry to appear in English. Drawn from his works published from 1917 to 1948 and presented bilingually, the translations are principally by David Guss supplemented with renderings by Stephen Fredman, Carlos Hagen, W. S. Merwi,. Geoffrey O’Brien, David Ossman, Michael Palmer, Jerome Rothenberg, Eliot Weinberger, and Geoffrey Young. Huidobro’s masterpiece Alrazor appears almost entire.
Huidobro (1893-1948) left Santiago for Paris in 1916. There he co-founded the influential Cubist magazine Nord-Su with Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy. He then launched his own poetic movement, Creationism, and wrote as well for a score of avant-garde journals. Author of over forty books―plays. political tracts, novels, manifestos, poetry―he worked with Edgard Varése, Hans Arp, Robert Delauney, Jorge Luis Borges, and other important writers.
Besides his translations, editor Guss has provided a biographical essay, “Poetry ls a Heavenly Crime," a lucid and helpful introductory overview of Huidobro and his work.
kindness of Dr. David Bary of the University of California, Santa Barbara, to whom grateful acknowledgment is given. The Spanish and French texts of the poems included in this volume are used by permission of Senor Vicente Garci'a-Huidobro Portales and follow the standard versions of the Obras Completas de Vicente Huidobro, published by Empresa Editora Zig-Zag, Santiago, Chile, 1964. MANY HA NDS HE L P E D M A K E THIS BOOK: To all the translators who contributed their work and support, to
agranda como los torrentes Y en tanto que las olas se dan vuelta La luna nino de luz se escapa de alta mar Mira este cielo lleno Mas rico que los arroyos de las minas Cielo lleno de estrellas que esperan el bautismo 90 Fall Fall forever .. Fall to the depths of the infinite Fall to the depths of time Fall to the depths of your Self Fall as low as you can Fall without dizziness Into all spaces & ages Into each soul each longing for land each shipwreck Fall Scald the stars & the seas as you pass
sole interest in poetry was— when I started to approach this level of creation of a new world— they called me a Creationist. A name I didn’t invent and which at first I rejected because there was al ready a school of philosophy by that name and it had nothing to do with the aesthetic principles I espoused, which could lead to an absurd confusion. xm Later, several people tried to dispute the title with me, and then I was forced to defend it. Over the next six years Huidobro travelled
crujimiento Alas de olas en mi azul El mar se abrira para dejar salir los primeros naufragos Que cumplieron su castigo Despues de tantos siglos y mas siglos Andaran por la tierra con miradas de vidrio Escalaran los montes de sus frases profeticas Y se convertiran en constelaciones Entonces aparecera un volcan en medio de las olas Y dira yo soy el rey Traedme el armonio de las nebulosas Y sabed que las islas son las coronas de mi cabeza Y las olas mi unico tesoro Yo soy el rey El rey canta a la
-4 AACR2 ISBN O -8 112 - 0 8 0 5 - 2 (pbk.) New Directions Books are published for James Laughlin by New Directions Publishing Corporation, 80 Eighth Avenue, New York 1 0 0 1 1 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS © Assistance for the production of this volume was given by the Center for In ter-American Relations. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following magazines and journals in which some of these translations originally appeared: Chicago Review, Invisible City, Montemora, Panjandrum, Poems from the