Stolen Verses and Other Poems

Stolen Verses and Other Poems

Stolen Verses and Other Poems

Stolen Verses and Other Poems

Synopsis

This collection of poems employs different forms, such as sonnets and free verse in both English and the original Spanish. It includes the poems, John Lennon 1940-1980, Sigmund Freud Under Hypnosis and Fixed Stars in a White Sky.

Excerpt

Born in Chile in 1938, Oscar Hahn has become an increasingly important figure in Spanish American poetry over the last twenty years. When his first sizable volume, Arte de morir (The Art of Dying), was published in Buenos Aires in 1977, Hahn was hailed by one of the masters of postmodernism in Chile, Enrique Lihn, as “the premier poet of his generation.” in a lengthy review of the same work, the critic Graciela Palau de Nemes called Hahn “the most important poet of the fantastic in Spanish American letters.” Even earlier Pablo Neruda had praised Hahn for his “great originality and intensity,” and Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most highly respected writers of our time, has called Hahn’s work “magnificent and truly original…the most personal I’ve read in the poetry of our language in a long time.” These notable figures were responding to a poet with a cosmopolitan sensibility and an unusual ability to write authentically in numerous styles.

Whether writing sonnets, ballads, or free verse, Hahn has his own voice, one that moves artfully between coolly focused, often witty observation and intense, apocalyptic energy. What connects the disparate styles is a commanding, even infectious articulation of strangeness in the world. Some of the poems evoke lovely, gracefully phrased whispers; others have rhythms and attitudes that seem nightmarishly rough. Some are political in import, some droll, others wild with rage. But the world has always been complex, and Hahn is not the first artist to feel at home with the horrors of darkness and the sweetness of light. Cervantes and Dante, Shakespeare and Sophocles, Mozart and Goya, Beethoven and van Gogh: we go to these figures to experience the world with powerful clarity. We might also recall a single moment in a Spanish prison when, thinking of his beloved Josefina, the deathly ill poet Miguel Hernández wrote, “Yo no quiero más luz que tu cuerpo ante el mío [I want no more light than your body before mine].”

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