Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain for the 21st Century

Shearsman Books (United Kingdom) & Seismicity Editions (USA)


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PANIC CURE, POETRY FROM SPAIN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Reviewed for tearsinthefence by Ian Brinton

On Monday 24th March I attended the book launch of this terrific collection; it was held in the Auditorio del Instituto Cervantes de Londres and two of the poets, Pilar Fraile Amador and Esther Ramón read in Spanish from the volume. They were accompanied by Forrest Gander who read from his translations.

Well, when it was suggested that ‘genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood’ Mr Eliot was absolutely spot on the mark. I don’t know very much Spanish: I was deeply moved. The readings communicated an urgency that mattered and I was quite spell-bound.

The book itself contains poems by ten contemporary poets and it is prefaced by a fine introduction written by Daniel Aguirre-Orteiza of Harvard University. As he says about this selection: it ‘justifies itself by its peculiar foreignness’ and its guiding principle is the translator’s ‘understanding of innovation, as defined by his acute ear as an American translator who seeks out the restless, inquiring voices now proliferating that unbounded linguistic space many Mexican and US poets are creating as we speak’.

From "Hedge" by Amador:

a shadow lingers behind the door. sour as those lemons we drip with

honey to eat.

we are a lump growling under the sheets. soaked purple. the source of

our pain unclear.



From "Cattle" by Ramón:

In the horse dump everything’s ready for rendering.

They flicked on the emergency lights and no one knew if they were

running to get there or to get away.