Garden of silica by Ida Vitale pt1


Ida is from Uruguay and considered one of the leading female voices from south america ,she has won the Octavio Paz prizes for her poetry ,she lived in Uruguay til 1973 and since in exile first in Mexico then U.S.A. ,this collection on salt is the first of her works to be translated ,she started writing poetry in 1949 and still writes ,she was part of what was known as the generation of 45 that included a number of brazilian poets ,where they drew on surrealism and symbolism . this first post is about the early poems in the book .

A poem quote –


standing on the serpents box ,

the queen ,lifted by the angels

or demons,goes behind the sorcery .

A trail of pins has opened for her

so she may dance on their tips……..

the opening of Queen sphinx .

My view –

The opening few poems in this collection,show Ida’s sparse use of language like a branch whittled done to make something fine and wonderfully fragile at the same time ,there is a bit of surreal /magic realism you would expect from a south american poet /writer ,there is also a feeling of the domestic world of a female talk of kitchens a list of a daily routine imagined as a poem .A recurring theme is labyrinths ,the desert labyrinth ,the island labyrinth .this collection is part of salts earthwork collection  ,the book has been loving translated by the two translators Katherine Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez and you feel the spirit of the original work without any chunkiness ,that you sometimes find in translated poetry .

Next time i ll bring the middle section and see if mexico influences Ida’s poetry .

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amymckie
    May 19, 2010 @ 17:12:17

    Sounds great. I’m impressed by what you say about the translation – that you still feel the spirit with no chunkiness. Looking forward to the next time you feature her 🙂


  2. Trackback: my bbaw post « Winstonsdad's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

May 2010


%d bloggers like this: