Summer 2009 – Tribute to Juan Gelman
The summer 2009 issue of The Café Review, guest edited by poet Paul Pines, is a tribute to the Argentinean poet Juan Gelman. Here is an excerpt from the forward written by Ilan Stavans. get a copy of this amazing issue today by becoming one of our subscribers. To view a couple of Juan Gelman’s poems that atre contained in this issue, check out excerpts under our current issue section.
” (Juan Gelman)…fits into the tradition of Latin American poetry by the relentless courage he displays to speak truth to power. Where did the Argentine experiment go wrong? How could it reach such levels of human depravity after it was generally seen as the most advanced, cosmopolitan country in the Southern Hemisphere? Time and again Gelman has pondered these questions, but he refuses to answer them. The most a poet can do is describe what he sees. In a 1980 poem about the prisoners’ loneliness, he described the protagonists as “dreaming they’re dreamed / quieted / they’ll never see other faces growing / leaning out / continued / in this sun / someday in the sun of justice.” And in his remarkable piece, “The Art of Poetry,” dated 1961, he affirms: “I’ve never been the owner of my ashes, my poems, / obscure faces write them like firing bullets at death.