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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prados

I have a copy of Wellman's translation of Jardín cerrado. I blurbed the book, so I obviously don't think it's bad. Emilio Prados is a figure who should be read to have a more complete sense of Spanish poetry, for someone, say, who only knows Lorca and Machado.

...And yet. I would never dream of comparing Prados to Lorca. The drop-off from really striking, radically modernist poetry like Lorca's to Prados's nice-sounding and fairly conventional work is very noticeable:

Soledad, noche a noche te estoy edificando,
noche a noche te elevas de mi sangre fecunda
y a mi supremo sueño curvas fiel tus murallas
de cúpula intangible como el propio Universo...*

Second-line modernist poets like this are not even modernist. Thus I don't agree with one other blurb that says that Prados will take "his rightful place alongside his contemporaries: Alberti, Dalí, Buñuel, and Lorca." Prados is not a major figure. My argument is that we should read minor figures too!

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*Vocabulary: solitude, night, I am building you, night, night, you arise, fecund blood, supreme dream, you curve, faithful, walls, cupula, intangible, the Universe itself.

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