March 17, 2007

Review: The Complete Poetry

The Complete Poetry
Edited and translated by CLAYTON ESHLEMAN

University of California Press, $49.95 cloth, ISBN 978-0-520-24552-5

This is a landmark book in the history of modern poetry. To have the complete poems of César Vallejo in one volume changes the course of poetic translation as this huge volume records layers of visionary experiences that often defied interpretation. Vallejo saw the world through the anguished eyes of a hawk and the heart of an elusive spirit. The result was some of the darkest, yet most moving poetry of the twentieth century. The publication of this massive undertaking is important because the entire poetic work of Peruvian César Vallejo, one of the three most important Spanish language poets of the past century (Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca being the others) has finally been gathered in an English edition.

by Ray Gonzalez