02 April 2010

April is National Poetry Month!

In honor of National Poetry Month I purchased two new volumes of poetry.  Penguin Classics just released new editions of Jorge Luis Borges's poetry.

 Poems of the Night is a collection of poems about night and darkness, dreams and nightmare.  Borges lost his eyesight late in 1955 but these poems are drawn from the entire span of his career.  Included is the luminous "Poem of the Gifts" - a poem composed when Borges was named director of the Argentine National Library after his sight had gone.

The Sonnets is the volume I am most excited to read.  This volume is the first time all of Borges's sonnets appear together in one volume.  Sonnets are my favorite poetic forms and they come in different kinds.

Both of these volumes are parallel-text editions - the original Spanish is on the left page and the English translation is on the right page; I don't speak Spanish but, thanks to a lot of voice training, I can pronounce it and sometimes you just have to read something aloud in its original language.  The are many translators associated with these poems - including WS Merwin and John Updike - so these will be fun to read.

I also have to bust out my Shel Silverstein for Poetry Month - "I cannot go to school today!"

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