Poems of Juan Gelman
Selected by Paul Pines
Translated by Hardie St. Martin

The poems collected here are taken from a Selected Poems by Juan Gelman translated by Hardie St. Martin. The work included ranges from 1956 to 1992.

Common to Gelman’s oeuvre are collections by various personas, such as John Wendell and Yamanocuchi.

“The “Citations” and “Commentaries” are addressed to Gelman’s significators, principally San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Theresa de Jesus, whose journey to union with transcendence has taken them through “the valley of the shadow,” to a state governed by an open heart in all of its rawness.

“Com/positions” is Gelman’s assimilation of 10th/11th century Sephardic poets with whom he shares the experience of violence and exile. He describes the relationship as “tenants of the same condition…who offer me the past, surround my present and give me a future.”

In his prologue to these versions he states: “…translation is something inhuman: no language or face lets itself be translated.  you have to leave one beauty intact and supply another to go with it: their lost unity lies ahead.”  Hardie’s translations confirm this.

Paul Pines