Undressing the Night

Undressing the Night

Author: Francisco Santos, translated and edited by Brian Campbell
Publisher: Editorial Lunes, Heredia, Costa Rica
Published: March, 2006
ISBN: 9968-9542-9-2
Cover: Paperback
Price: $10 CDN, $10 US
125 pages
Status: In Print

To order

.

SAMPLE:

This bilingual edition of poems by Nicaraguan-Canadian poet Francisco Santos brings a generous selection of the entire range of his poetry for the first time to English readers.  Santos’ writing is steeped in literary traditions as diverse as Latin American surrealism, European modernism and the poetry of the Beats. Like many of his generation, he left the political and economic turmoil of his native land and moved north, in his case, to Toronto, Canada.  The result is a rich poetry of fusion, fracture, tension and surprise, rendered into highly readable English through Brian Campbell’s inspired translations.

UNDRESSING THE NIGHT

Every night you lift the secret colours
from beneath the closed eyelid of blackness
and decipher the murmurings of its invisible lips
—like a man long blind, groping, only a glowing hieroglyph
for a cane—
treasures that shine, necklaces on white virgin necks
lyrics that bind like telephone lines
in pornographic communications
words that carve clefts in the palm of your hand
which you cup to your ear like a seashell to listen
to the silent whisperings of the arrayed
handprints in the caves of Altamira

PRISON

He enclosed the silence
searched through its pockets
for a toothbrush and a mirror

gave a kiss to time
murmured to the wind

Santos, from his first poems to his last, exhibits an unusual degree of strength and assuredness of identity.   Always, lurking beneath the surface is something mad, manic; the poetry positively crackles with tension.  Love, throughout, is Dionysian par excellence. In his joyous intensity, Santos becomes the eternal youth, even in the full maturity of his poetic realization.
— Francisco Amighetti, artist/poet, author of Francisco y los caminos

“In the work of Francisco Santos, we see the hand of a professional, of a master (dare I say maestro?), a man who knows poetry to its very depths… This book is the culmination not only of years of work, but of a talent being continually born anew.”

— Franklin Caldera, editor of the literary review Poesia Peregrina, author of Cien años de historia de cine

“In this book… Brian Campbell does what a translator rarely manages to do:  mirror the cadences, flavour, and poetic licences of the author, so that the resulting poems in English are every bit as arresting as in the original Spanish.  This is a superb translation…”

Danilo Lopez, editor of 11 Nicaraguan Poets in the USA

“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.

— David Leftwich, poetry blogger

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Translator’s Preface

Nicaragua
Primera vez /Beginning
Soy rico / I’m Rich
Chichigalpa
RIP Leonel Rugama
Marca / Signs
Carcel / Prison
Casa de invierno / Winter House
Estación del atlántico /Atlantic Station
Fiesta
Fin de semana / Week End
Instantaneas / Instant
Lago 1 / Lake 1
Lago 11 / Lake 2
Enero 73 / Summer 73
Que?  Quien? / What? Who?
Rio / River
A la edad / To The Age
Algo / Something
Madero Negro / Black Tree

Canada
Agua de lluvia/ Rain Water
Canción de un musico / Song of a Musician
Esquina / Intersection
En el salon con Modigliani / In the Modigliani Room
Galería / Gallery
Inmortalidades / Immortalities
Lecho celestial / Celestial Bed
Medianoche desnuda / Undressing the Night
Turno nocturno / Night Turn
La poetisa canadiense  . . .  / The Canadian Poet . . .
A quien concerna / To Whom It May Concern
Rastros / Traces
Nidia
Ventenales
No
Casa / House
Dichoso ese Tiempo / Happy This Time
Signos del Agua / Watersign
Nevado Amenacer/Cold Awakening
Diario Depierto/Awakening Diary
Broadview
Residencia / Residence
Calle del Triumfo/Street of Triumph
Mi Abuela Casta Mayorga/My Grandmother Casta Mayorga
Corredores / Corridors
Ltda./Ltd.
Mossleigh-Toronto
Ilusiones Maestras/Master Illusions
Citas/Rendezvous
Index-cifrables/Index-cipherable
Chronica/Chronical
Borgiano Samsara/Borgian Samsara
Sala de proyección / Projection Room
Hambre/Hunger
No Necesariamente Iglesiero/Not Necessarily a Churchgoer
Chico/Boy
Viendo siempre / Seeing Always

Visit the Undressing the Night Blog

Order:  contact beedeecee@videotron.ca

Advertisements