Translator’s note, notes for

The author’s allusive style means translation has to be interpretation. While we have tried to stay as close to the words of the original as possible, we have sometimes changed them in order to keep the sense.

An important part of the meaning in the poems is the rhythm, and we have tried to keep that — rhythm of sound and image — again, sometimes changing wording to do that.

These poems are meant to be collages of rhythmic images, not logical arguments or linear stories; interpreting to translate (see my first sentence) has not meant translating to iron out or to privilege a particular reading.

The poems are very intertextual. Part of what we’ve done in the translation is work to make the references a little more obvious to the reader. We think annotation would overpower / kill the poems but, for instance, “otro embuste” is from Sahagún. In another poem, we used Stevens’ “keener sounds” which isn’t in the original, but makes the text work the way the original does.


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