Ana Enriqueta Teran is arguably Venezuela's finest poet. Celebrated throughout the Spanish-speaking world, she is almost unknown among anglophones. Until now only a handful of her poems have been translated into English, giving at best a diluted impression of a uniquely intense imagination.
This bilingual edition reveals the power and beauty of this poet's Spanish poems through English versions of corresponding force. It invites readers to enter Teran's world--a world at once strongly Venezuelan and universally human, imbued with great beauty, sardonic humor, pitiless compassion, lucid wisdom, and joyful affirmation.
Selected from several volumes of Teran's work, these poems span half a century of composition and show an extraordinary range in both form and substance. Some are written in closed forms, some in free verse. Some are carefully evocative representations of the landscapes and cityscapes that have nourished the poet's intelligence and imagination. Others are dramatic character studies. All are infused with Teran's rare sensibility and realized through language that manages to be at once graceful, urgent, and explosive. This volume is a treasure for all lovers of poetry.
"Deal Struck with Happiness"
How much sweetness to make right the night
and this clutch of anemones
near thin smooth consoling stones,
stones havens of southern weather.
Of a woman who watches Cepheids quaver
among lightbursting mangroves.
Of a woman who offers cats-eyes and clematis
only, Islands, for the sake of setting right
her deal struck with happiness.
"Startlingly vivid and technically masterful poems, whose range and complexity [have] few equals... [A] fiercely intimate journey contained in a slim but thoughtful volume."--Christine Thomas, American Book Review "The Poetess Counts to 100 and Bows Out ... is a demanding selection of poems interweaving fables, myths, dreams, bold similes, and heightened visions of reality in order to interpret and commemorate what often nonetheless seem to be personal experiences. It is a sometimes puzzling yet also singularly sensual and resonant mixture, especially in the many cases where poems exhibit a semantically rich, philosophically ambitious, extremely compact lyricism."--John Taylor, Antioch Review