The crowning achievement of Latin America’s master poet
The Origin of Species and Other Poems (cloth)
Ernesto Cardenal; translated and introduced by John Lyons, with foreword by Anne Waldman
Ernesto Cardenal, widely acknowledged as Latin America's greatest living poet, continues to craft works of striking beauty, as demonstrated in this collection’s title poem, an exquisite meditation on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Among the twenty new poems included here are many appearing for the first time in English, some for the first time anywhere. Cardenal has also added new cantigas, or cantos, to supplement his book-length masterpiece, Cosmic Canticle.
“There is order even in the foam of a torrent,” affirms Cardenal. Evolution, natural selection, existence, and purpose figure into this complex symphony. In his characteristic blend of poetry, politics, and prayer, he grapples with elemental questions of life, delivering a thought-provoking, joyous vision of an earthly paradise in which humanity must find its role and calling.
Cardenal epitomizes what makes literature live in Central America today. —Booklist
One of the world’s major poets. —Choice
Cardenal is a major epic-histocial poet, in the grand lineage of Central American prophet Rubén Dario. —Allen Ginsberg
One of the most influential (and controversial) poets of his generation. —Robert Hass
Praise for The Origin of Species and Other Poems
The crowning work in the long career of this well-known Latin American poet . . . [whose] revolutionary fire is still evident, but it's subsumed in the subjects of the poems rather than manifest[ed] in slogans. —Ed Ochester
A Whitmanic embrace and . . . a timely political resonance with a particularly difficult and broken-hearted new century. —Anne Waldman, from the foreword
The author of more than thirty-five books, many translated into multiple languages, Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1965. His studies with Trappist monk Thomas Merton and his involvement with the Sandinista movement in his home country have informed his writing and political activism. He lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where he is vice president of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and cultural organization.
Poet, journalist, and musician John Lyons has translated previous works of Ernesto Cardenal and other Spanish-language poets. He lives in São Carlos, Brazil.
The author of more than forty books of poetry, Anne Waldman lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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