Category Archives: Poetry

Vallejo

I’ve got to create a more efficient way of noting the files I clear, but I don’t want to make the invention of e-bibliography and file systems my center project right now.

Photocopies I am recycling today, great and classic articles:

  1. Ulises Juan Zevallos Aguilar 2001 on Peruvian avant-garde, a wonderful piece that I love.
  2. Stephen Hart, César Vallejo y sus espejismos, another really good article, Romance Quarterly (49, 2:111-118, 2002).

I really like all this work and I get frozen on it because of what US academia has been like for me and how I have not managed to withstand its ills. But this work is such a welcoming world.

I am going to write a bureaucratic document I am afraid to write, this afternoon. Doing it is necessary for one thing, and finishing it should improve me. I fear that by doing it I call doom on my head. Actually by doing it I stand up for myself, define myself, distance myself from evil, stand in the light.

Axé.

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Vijay Seshadri, Werner Herzog

I was taken with this poem and discovered its author is well known. And it seems Herzog is still working, I do not necessarily approve of him or like all of his work but effectively he seems to be my favorite filmmaker, so what can one do. Life, pleasure, art.

Axé.

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Latvia and César Moro

These topics are not unrelated since Latvia and the Baltics had such a strong modernist movement. I want to go on Latvian and Russian immersion in Riga, and then start studying Baltic modernism. I am not joking. I could study law as well, and write interesting columns for the international press.

There are films and series about life in Soviet Estonia I would like to see. I need to see other realistic films about life in the USSR and the Baltics.

I learned about Robin Myers, an interesting poet and translator from the United States who lives in Mexico City. I learned about her via books I was looking at related to César Moro, and look at the theme of everything, for us all — moving to foreign capitals to do our work.

*

I have decided to allow myself to seriously consider running away to Latvia, even though it may not be possible financially in the end. This is the Latvia Weekly. I did not expect to fall in love with Latvia, but I did.

I have also decided not to try to work at home. This, I discern, has been my error for a long time. “Unhygienic,” said a friend, and I agree. I’m going to get rid of books more agressively, too. My life will improve.

Axé.

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Qué estará haciendo esta hora mi dulce y andina Rita

Here’s an old article I like, from files I am clearing out. [Mazzotti, José Antonio (2000). “Retos y soluciones en la edición de la poesía de Vallejo: El caso de la diagramación en Los heraldos negros.” 10.31819/9783964564825-013.] In book Edición e interpretación de textos andinos, 231-240.

Hinostroza 1967: “Vallejo is not a poet, but a myth.” Mazzotti says that since V. is a myth, and has become sacred, he is very hard to edit and annotate — yet people keep doing it, and there is no reason to think any edition is actually definitive. HN is seen as the simplest book and has therefore been neglected (perhaps also because it was published in the author’s lifetime, although both it and T have been published in a lot of versions.

HN and T have more andinismos than people even realize: temples (not templos); blancuras meaning sheets; and much, much more. Editors have also inappropriately modernized punctuation in HN, and also the spacing of strophes (which is important). They ignore the “materiality” of the collection (the way it was printed mattered).

And this piece is old, and more editions have appeared since, but these ideas matter.

VALLEJO not as poet but as myth.

Axé.

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Omar Pimienta

Here is one of the poets I discovered.

Axé.

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Song of a driver’s assistant in a Peruvian kombi

I had this poem idea a long time ago and I really think I should write it. Driver’s assistant is a very active job. Part of it involves shouting directions. This is the skeleton beat of the poem-song.

Centro, centro
Sube sube sube sube
VAMOS
(entra entra)

BAJA
baja baja baja
VAMOS

Avenida Avenida
BAJA
baja baja baja
VAMOS

VAMOS, ENTRA ENTRA ENTRAAAA

Pasajes pasajes
Tenga su vuelto
BAJA

Arequipa Arequipa
sube sube sube sube
VAMOS

Axé.

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Le succès

I read at the New Orleans Poetry Festival, from our translation manuscript (a revised version of the first of these poems, and some others). People liked them and thought the book has a future.

I met, and got to talk to and hang out with Salgado Maranhão, his translator Alexis Levitin, the Poet in New York translator Mark Statman, a cool local professor named Ralph Adamo, a cool Bay Area poet named Joseph Lease, a cool bartender at the Spotted Cat who is a Cuban-American poet and writes for Ploughshares, and Omar Pimienta who was especially enthusiastic about our project, which was an honor.

Another new friend turned me onto this poem.

Axé.

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