Saturday, October 15, 2005

“the books within the eardrum”

Brian Campbell has been translating Nicaraguan poet Francisco Santos for several years and now has a book of translations coming out from a Costa Rican press. For those of you not heading to your local Costa Rican bookstore this week, Brian has posted some translations and the introduction at Undressing the Night. Here is a sample:

FIESTA

The glass beyond the fiesta
the books within the eardrum
the quotidian in the blood --
and the madman with his dirty fist
comes out of the mineshaft
waving a flower

-Fransciso Santos, trans. Brian Campbell

The line "books within the eardrum” really resonates – it seems to condence into one line the whole aural appeal of poetry, the sounds that unlock like skeleton keys the doors to deep memory. If Santos can do this in one short poem, I can’t wait to read more.

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