Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems

Front Cover
University of California Press, Mar 21, 1997 - Poetry - 256 pages
Juan Gelman is Argentina's leading poet, but his work has been almost unknown in the United States until now. In 2000, he received the Juan Rulfo Award, one most important literary awards in the Spanish-speaking world, and in 2007, he received the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's top literary prize. With this selection, chosen and superbly translated by Joan Lindgren, Gelman's lush and visceral poetry comes alive for an English-speaking readership.

Gelman is a stark witness to the brutality of power, and his poems reflect his suffering at the hands of the Argentine military government (his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild were "disappeared"). While political idealism infuses his writing, he is not a servant of ideology. Themes of family, exile, the tango, Argentina, and Gelman's Jewish heritage resonate throughout his poems, works that celebrate life while confronting heartache and loss.

"remembering their little bones when it rains/ the compañerosstomp on darkness/set forth from death/wander the tender night/I hear their voices like living faces"—from Remembering Their Little Bones
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Unthinkable tenderness: selected poems

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Chosen from the two collections of verse that Gelman wrote from 1971 to the mid-1980s, these poems serve to introduce U.S. readers to this leading Argentian poet. (His works have not been widely ... Read full review

Unthinkable tenderness: selected poems

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Chosen from the two collections of verse that Gelman wrote from 1971 to the mid-1980s, these poems serve to introduce U.S. readers to this leading Argentian poet. (His works have not been widely ... Read full review

Contents

IV
4
V
4
VI
4
VII
12
VIII
13
IX
15
X
17
XI
18
LV
82
LVI
83
LVII
84
LVIII
87
LIX
89
LX
91
LXI
93
LXII
95

XII
19
XIII
21
XIV
23
XV
25
XVI
26
XVII
27
XVIII
28
XIX
29
XX
31
XXI
33
XXII
35
XXIII
39
XXIV
41
XXV
42
XXVI
43
XXVII
44
XXVIII
45
XXIX
47
XXX
49
XXXI
51
XXXII
53
XXXIII
55
XXXIV
57
XXXV
59
XXXVI
61
XXXVII
62
XXXVIII
63
XXXIX
64
XL
65
XLI
66
XLII
67
XLIII
68
XLIV
69
XLV
70
XLVI
71
XLVII
72
XLVIII
73
XLIX
74
L
75
LI
76
LII
77
LIII
79
LIV
80
LXIII
96
LXIV
98
LXV
99
LXVI
101
LXVII
102
LXVIII
104
LXIX
107
LXX
109
LXXI
111
LXXII
113
LXXIII
115
LXXIV
119
LXXV
121
LXXVI
123
LXXVII
125
LXXVIII
127
LXXIX
129
LXXX
131
LXXXI
133
LXXXII
135
LXXXIII
138
LXXXIV
140
LXXXV
143
LXXXVI
145
LXXXVII
151
LXXXVIII
153
LXXXIX
154
XC
156
XCI
157
XCII
158
XCIII
159
XCIV
160
XCV
161
XCVI
163
XCVII
165
XCVIII
166
XCIX
169
C
171
CI
183
CII
187
CIII
191
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 4 - Hay que hundir las palabras en la realidad hasta hacerlas delirar como ella». Y el autor de Anunciaciones, dócil ante el consejo de su subordinado, hace delirar a las palabras, y el delirio llega tan alto que los clásicos signos de interrogación se cambian a veces por admiraciones: «¡adelante / universo! / ¡faltaba más!»; «¡abajo los espejos sin calles!
Page 4 - He is a man whose family has been severed from him, who has seen his most beloved friends disappeared or killed, yet nobody has been able to kill in Juan the will to subvert the sum of this horror into an affirmative counterstrike, a creator of new life.
Page vii - To the families of Argentina's Disappeared, especially the twiceorphaned Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, and to all those forced to live in the shadow of absence and impunity, the lingering resonance of brutality.
Page xvii - GELMAN to translate is inhuman — no language or face allows itself to be translated, we must leave this beauty intact and add yet another beauty to accompany it. their lost unity lies ahead.
Page xiii - Juan has committed the crime of marrying justice to beauty. From such a dangerous and fertile embrace, a general uneasiness must issue.

About the author (1997)

Born in Buenos Aires in 1930, Juan Gelman went into political exile in Europe in 1976, where he remained until 1989. Today he lives in Mexico City. Joan Lindgren spent seven years studying Gelman's work and made six visits to Argentina while doing her research.

Bibliographic information