JONATHAN COHEN: SELECTED
[Key: Boldface = Book; C = Criticism; J = Journalism; P =
Poetry; T = Translation (Poetry)]
The Dog and the Fever [C]. By Pedro Espinosa. Tr. William Carlos Williams, with Raquel Hélène Williams. Editor and author of introduction, plus notes. New York: New Directions. In press.
["The novella is fantastic, and I can see many reasons why Williams was taken by it, especially the sense of the language which Espinosa got down on the page — like Williams listening to the living language around him and then managing to get that down on the page. Not the courtly or academic, but the living Vulgate, and the poetry intrinsic to that. What’s also fascinating about Williams's translation is the way he tries to find the modern idiomatic equivalent for what he is reading on the page, a language harking back 300 years and more, then transmuted through the Caribbean idioms where it was picked up by his mother, who in the 1930s in her eighties transmitted the living Spanish idiom to her son, the pithy, vibrant language of her Puerto Rican background. Fascinating stuff." — Paul Mariani, author of William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked]
"Translating the Light — a Poetic Fusion" [C; review of Juan Gelman's Dark Times Filled with Light, tr. Hardie St. Martin]. Big Bridge. In press.
"William Carlos Williams's 'Figure: After Quevedo': Discovering the Typescript of This 'Lost' Poem" [C]. Hudson Review. In press.
Review of The FSG Book of Latin American Poetry [C]. Translation Review 84.1: 68–72.
"Rise and Shine" [P]. Street Magazine 20.7. Digital.
By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, 1916–1959 [C]. By William Carlos Williams. Compiler and editor. New York: New Directions. (See ND blog with poems; clip of presentation at Americas Society.)
"A splendid surprise." — Patrick Dunagan, NewPages|
"Almost fifty years after his death, incredibly, the
great American poet William Carlos Williams has published his first book of translations. Thanks to Jonathan Cohen, who had the skill and the
care — and the awareness — to bring the book into existence, we now have a more complete picture of Williams’s poetic practice."
— Jason Weiss, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas
"Jonathan Cohen shows us why translation is crucial to understanding Williams, who approached it as an essential act of poetry. The poet emerges as the first among our modernist writers to see the literary value of translating classical and contemporary verse from both Spain and Latin America. By Word of Mouth makes that clear." — Edith Grossman
"Superbly compiled, edited, and annotated by Jonathan Cohen, and with a stimulating preface by Julio Marzán, the bilingual anthology By Word of Mouth is the most important addition to the Williams canon since Christopher MacGowan's edition of Paterson.
Every admirer of Williams' work should own this volume. It does not gather pieces of secondary interest. Rather, Williams' poems from the Spanish are not just well worth reading in their own right; they will also enhance how we understand Williams' original English-language poetry and his evolution as a writer. Our notion of Williams' work in 'the American idiom' should be forever broadened and changed because of By Word of Mouth." — Peter Schmidt, William Carlos Williams Review
"This book will reinforce the sense of Williams as one deeply invested in the language and rhythm of the New World — North as well as South." — Paul Mariani, author of William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked
"It seems clear that Williams is the twentieth-century poet who has done most to influence our very conception of what poetry should do, and how much it does not need to do." — Adam Kirsch, New York Review of Books
"This book affirms that the most American poet of them all, William Carlos Williams — the poet of 'the American idiom' — also had Latin American and Caribbean roots." — Ernesto Cardenal
"Williams used translation as an extension of his program to 'create a modern poetics based on American speech, thought, and
[His] 'Prelude in Boricua,' made upon his return from Puerto Rico, comes close to being a virtuosic rendering of Luis Palés Matos's 'Preludio en boricua': 'Mixup of kinkhead and high yaller / And other big time mixups. / Messaround of voodoo chatter.'
Cohen's By Word of Mouth joins a handful of (relatively) recent titles focusing on the translational activities of writer-translators." — Gregary J. Racz, Metamorphoses
"By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, is (besides being a book of wonderful poems) a reminder that Williams's call for 'American speech' in American poetry wasn't mere United States-ian nationalism. It was a vision of poetry that encompassed the entire New World." — Greer Mansfied, Bookslut
"Williams' early understanding of the relevance of transnational, multilingual, American dialogue is more relevant today than ever." — Julio Ramos, author of Divergent Modernities: Culture and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Latin America
"In the translations [By Word of Mouth], Carlos rises to the surface to speak of intangibles. In this way the translations fit into the 'scheme' of stasis, his two cultures bridged. They are another celebration of his Carlos lineage, transmitting to this culture its 'mingling' spirit — Bill tensely fused with Carlos is Williams the American poet." — From the Foreword by Julio Marzán
"For Those Dead, Our Dead
" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Being Human. Ed. Neil Astley. Highgreen, Eng.: Bloodaxe. 360.
"Newly-Discovered Translations by William Carlos Williams; Eugenio Florit's 'Conversation with My Father' and Pablo Neruda's 'Ode to My Socks'" [C]. Hudson Review 64.1: 43–51.
"On William Carlos Williams's Translation of Ernesto Mejía Sánchez's 'Vigils'" [C]. Words Without Borders, July 14.
"Some Thoughts for Reviewers of Literary Translations" [C]. With Susan Bernofsky and Edith Grossman. Words Without Borders, March 23.
"Stardust" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Birds, Beasts, and Seas: Nature Poems from New Directions. Ed. Jeffrey Yang. New York: New Directions. 125.
"Swans" [T]. By Enrique Lihn. Birds, Beasts, and Seas: Nature Poems from New Directions. Ed. Jeffrey Yang. New York: New Directions. 131.
"Tavern" [T]. By Roque Dalton. From a Terrace in Prague. Ed. Stephan Delbos. Prague: Litteraria Pragensia. 153–70.
"The Earth's Dreams: Raúl Zurita's Purgatory and Other Sequences" [C]. Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas. 43.1: 285–89.
"For Those Dead, Our Dead
" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. Eds. Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris. New York: Ecco P. 297.
"For You" [P]. Long-Islander, March 25: A11.
"Into the American Idiom: William Carlos Williams' Translation of Jorge Carrera Andrade's 'Dictado por el agua'" [C]. Translation Review 77/78: 28–42. ["The best new scholarship in Latin American translation studies." — Charles Hatfield, University of Texas at Dallas]
"The Father's Monologue with His Infant Son" [T]. By Enrique Lihn. Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry. Eds. Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman. New York: Oxford UP. 367–69.
Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Editor and translator, with trs. Mireya Jaimes-Freyre, John Lyons, Thomas Merton, Robert Pring-Mill, Kenneth Rexroth, and Donald D. Walsh. New York: New Directions.
"Ernesto and I gave an open-air poetry reading, plus a little ceremony in which I presented to him a seed from Pasternak's grave given to me by the Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky. I don't know whether Ernesto ever planted this symbol of freedom, but he himself is such a seed." — Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in the Foreword|
From the Reviews
"Readers of English, thank your gods: the breadth of Ernesto Cardenal's amazing poetic career is now available for our consumption." — Vincent Francone, Three Percent
"Clear, impassioned, brilliant. Beautiful." — Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times
"Cardenal shows his rarest talent — the ability to love and be angry in one perfectly formed phrase." — George Wallace, Poetry Bay
"One can only admire the feat of creating an amazingly coherent selection from such a vast literary output.
[A]ll these poems
are essential reading in this well-selected and expertly-translated anthology." — Steven F. White, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas
"Cohen's collection, the largest selection of Cardenal's work so far in one volume in English, suggests that we have far more to learn about this poet, especially in the way, like most strong poets, that he opens himself so vividly to such a wide range of experience. Indeed, in Cardenal's many commitments and contradictions, and his deep involvement with North American poetry and culture, this volume suggests we could probably better understand our own poetry — and perhaps even country — if we were to study his." — David J. Rothman, Hudson Review
"Highly recommended for all libraries and could be used as a text for courses in multicultural and ethnic studies." — Alva V. Cellini, MultiCultural Review
"Absorbing and sweeping narrative verse." — Ray Olson, Booklist
"Essential for poetry and Latin American collections." — Jack Shreve, Library Journal
"Pluriverse selects the most significant and varied work from Cardenal’s long practice." — Ron Slate, On the Sea Wall
"[T]hese works are gracefully unified through an exploration of the possible intersection between political and spiritual life." — Kristina Marie Darling, Literary Review
"A worthy tribute to this living legend. The diversity of the work serves to enhance the overall experience." — Joseph D. Haske, American Book Review
"Cohen's final words are [in the Introduction]: 'And so, here they are — to gladden your heart and enrich your soul.' I agree. For being such well-crafted versions in English, these translations will gladden the heart, enrich the soul, and reach a wide audience." — Anne Fountain, Translation Review
Fragments of "Martí in New York (1895)" [P]. Long Island Sounds: An Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan. Southampton, NY: North Sea Poetry Scene P. 341-43.
"Psalm 5" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Golden Handcuffs Review 1.10: 162–63.
"Translating Cardenal's 'Managua 6:30 P.M.': The Challenge of the Kiss and Other Things" [C]. Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 54: 152-61.
"In Bryant’s Footsteps: Translating Nicaragua’s Cardenal" [C]. 91st Meridian 5.1. International Writing Program, U of Iowa.
"Streets"; "Tangier"; "Birthday in Belgium"; "Rendezvous" [P]. Poetryvlog.com.
"To Walt Whitman" [P]. Long Islander, August 2: A9.
"Cedar Hill"; "Walt Whitman" [P]. The Light of City and Sea. Ed. Daniel Thomas Moran. Sound Beach, NY: Street P. 39–40.
Countersong to Walt Whitman [T]. By Pedro Mir. Washington: Azul Editions. Excerpts in Logos 5.3.
"For Those Dead, Our Dead
" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Poems to Live By: In Troubling Times. Ed. Joan Murray. Boston: Beacon P. 87–88.
"Managua 6:30 P.M." [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Rattapallax 12: 19.
"Muna Lee" [C]. Encyclopedia Latina:
History, Culture, and Society in the United States. Ed. Ilan Stavans and Harold Augenbraum. Vol. 2. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing. 431–32.
"The Tishomingo (1855)" [P]. Long Islander, July 14: A9.
"Neruda in English: Establishing His Residence in U.S. Poetry" [C]. MultiCultural Review 13.4: 25–28.
A Pan-American Life: Selected Poetry and Prose of Muna Lee [C]. Madison: U of Wisconsin P.
["Jonathan Cohen's edition of Muna Lee's work and the accompanying biographical essay function as a combined project of historical recovery.
It reclaims Lee's place among American poets and establishes the importance of her work as a pan-Americanist.
This collection, by gathering a significant selection of her work, helps us begin to appreciate an important figure in pan-American literature. — Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas; "Jonathan Cohen has given us the exquisite gift of recognition: the life of Muna Lee — a poet, essayist, human rights activist, and indeed a visionary and fervent Pan-Americanist. Through Cohen's insightful and original biography, readers will get to know, as well as love, the spirit of Muna Lee, one of the most extraordinary and creative figures of the twentieth century, a builder of bridges and hopes. Cohen's work will not allow us to forget her. More so, it rescues her from the invisibility of her work and life. A magnificent tribute to a magnificent woman." — Marjorie Agosín, author of A Map of Hope]
"Prayer for Marilyn Monroe" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Review: Latin American Literature and Arts 67: 13–14.
"Toward a Common Destiny on the American Continent: The Pan Americanism of Gabriela Mistral" [C]. Gabriela Mistral: The Audacious Traveler. Ed. Marjorie Agosín. Athens: Ohio UP. 1–18.
"Walt Whitman in Ohio" [P]. Visiting Walt: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of
Walt Whitman. Eds. Thom Tammaro and Sheila
Coghill. Iowa City: U of Iowa P. 28.
"Paumanok"; "Poospatucks (1875)"; "Rendezvous" [P]. Improper Hamptonian: 18.
"A Museum in Kampuchea" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth
Century in Poetry. Ed. Peter Forbes. London: Penguin.
"For Those Dead, Our Dead
" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
The American Voice Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Frederick
Smock. Lexington: UP of Kentucky. 17–18.
"Waldeen and the Americas: The Dance Has Many Faces" [C; rev.
vers.]. A Woman's Gaze: Latin American Women Artists. Ed.
Marjorie Agosin. Fredonia, NY: White Pine P. 224–42.
"The Art of Translation" [C]. Literary Cavalcade 49.2:
"León"; "Lights" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry. Ed. Stephen Tapscott. Austin:
U of Texas P. 297–98, 301–02.
"Revolution" [T]. By Enrique Lihn. Twentieth-Century Latin
American Poetry. Ed. Stephen Tapscott. Austin: U of Texas P.
Small Hours of the Night [T]. By Roque Dalton.
With trs. James Graham, Ralph Nelson, Paul Pines, Hardie St.
Martin and David Unger. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone.
"Therapeutics" [T]. By Roque Dalton. American Poetry
Review 25.5: 10.
"Room 5600" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. City Lights Pocket
Poets Anthology. Ed. Lawrence Ferlinghetti. San Francisco:
City Lights. 211–17.
"With Walker in Nicaragua" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
Research Publications' American Journey: The Hispanic-American
Experience. Eds. Frank De Varona, Frank Menchaca, Bryce
Milligan, et al. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media.
"Madrigal"; "With Eyes Closed"; "Stars and Cricket"; "Homage
to Claudius Ptolemaeus"; "Epitaph on No Stone"; "Wind, Water,
Stone" [T]. By Octavio Paz. The Age of Koestler. Ed.
Nicolaus P. Kogon. Kalamazoo, MI: Practices of the Wind. 215,
229, 403, 431, 513, 595.
"This is the bridge
" [T]. By Homero Aridjis. The Age
of Koestler. Ed. Nicolaus P. Kogon. Kalamazoo, MI: Practices
of the Wind. 790.
Countersong to Walt Whitman & Other Poems
[T]. By Pedro Mir. With tr. Donald D. Walsh. Washington: Azul
["We need a lot more books in English about the Dominican experience. Fortunately the field is growing, and there's some good stuff out there. I recommend one start with one of the country's greatest poets, Pedro Mir, his Countersong to Walt Whitman and Other Poems. Pure genius." — Junot Díaz, New York Times]
"The Naming of America: Vespucci's Good Name" [C].
Encounters 7: 16–20.
"Selected Resources [for Literary Translators]." A
Handbook for Literary Translators. 2nd ed. Prep. Translation
Committee PEN American Center. New York: PEN American Center.
"Waldeen and the Americas: The Dance Has Many Faces"
[C]. American Voice 16: 58–73.
"The Naming of America: Fragments We've Shored Against
Ourselves" [C]. American Voice 13: 56–72.
"Oquendo's 'Rain': A Choral Rendering" [C]. American
Voice 10: 82–112.
"The Parrots" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Anthology of
Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry (1986/1987).
Beverly Hills: Monitor. 80.
"Among Facades"; "Malta" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. City
Lights Review 1: 191–93.
"Apparition in Hamburg"; "A Glass of Water in Cologne";
"Empty Shelves"; "A Museum in Kampuchea" [T]. By Ernesto
Cardenal. Translation 18: 246–53.
From Nicaragua, with Love: Poems (1979–1986)
[T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. San Francisco: City Lights.
"In Bryant's Footsteps: Translating 'Con Walker en
Nicaragua' " [C]. American Voice 6: 78–91.
Introduction [C]. From Nicaragua, with Love. By
Ernesto Cardenal. San Francisco: City Lights. 1–6.
"Walt Whitman in Ohio" [P]. Agni Review 24/25: 241.
"For Those Dead, Our Dead
" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
American Voice 2: 100.
"The Price of Bras" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
Massachusetts Review, 27.3–4: 510.
"Vision from the Blue Plane-Window"; "Founding of the Latin
American Association for Human Rights"; "The Parrots"; "New
Ecology"; "At the Tomb of the Guerrilla" [T]. By Ernesto
Cardenal. Agni Review 23: 73–80.
"From Nicaragua, with Love" [C]. Introduction. With Walker
in Nicaragua and Other Early Poems (1949–1954). By Ernesto
Cardenal. Middletown: Wesleyan UP. 3–17.
"León" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Nation 238.3: 100.
Neruda in English: A Critical History of the Verse Translations and Their Impact on American Poetry [C].
Ann Arbor: UMI Dissertation Publishing.
With Walker in Nicaragua and Other Early Poems
(1949–1954) [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Middletown:
Wesleyan UP. ["There could hardly be a better introduction to Cardenal than Jonathan Cohen's beautifully edited and really brilliant translations of his early poems. With Walker in Nicaragua is an admirable book in every way. There are two extraordinary poems in it, all of the poems are interesting, the introductory essay is helpful, clear, and brief, and Cohen's translations are so good you feel that the poems might have been written in English." — Robert Hass, Washington Post;
"The Cardenal of most interest to me is the poet of the late 1950s and early 1960s, whose work is represented in With Walker in Nicaragua, translated with great accuracy, simplicity and beauty by Jonathan Cohen.
Publication of With Walker in Nicaragua in English provides us with examples of some of the best poetry of a modern master." — Richard Elman, Nation]
"The Filibusters"; "Greytown"; "John Roach, Mariner" [T]. By
Ernesto Cardenal. American Poetry Review 12.3: 18.
"Neruda in English: The Controversy over Translation Poetics"
[C]. Missouri Review 6.3: 176–92.
"Raleigh"; "Star Found Dead on Park Avenue" [T]. By Ernesto
Cardenal. New Directions in Prose and Poetry 46. New York:
New Directions. 105–09.
"Squier in Nicaragua" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Denver
Quarterly 18.3: 17–25.
"With Walker in Nicaragua" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
Ironwood 11.1: 61–74.
"The Early History of Neruda in English, 1925–1937" [C].
Romance Notes 22.3: 272–76.
"In the Subway Stream"; "Old Lady on the Subway";
"Hypermanhattan" [T]. By Enrique Lihn. New Directions in
Prose and Poetry 44. New York: New Directions. 155–56.
"The Poetics of Translating Neruda" [C]. Rev. of
Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu, by John
Felstiner. Review (Center for Inter-American Relations)
"Port Jefferson '76" [P]. Paumanok Rising. Eds. Vince
Clemente and Graham Everett. Setauket, NY: Four Rivers. 185–86.
"Discovering Neruda: An Interview with H. R. Hays" [C].
Translation Review 6: 29–34.
"Lights." [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. In These Times
Neruda in English: A Critical History of the Verse Translations and Their Impact on American Poetry [C]. Stony Brook: State University of New York.
"Paumanok" [P]. On Good Ground. Eds. Ray Freed and Jim
Tyack. Port Jefferson, NY: Street. 15–16.
"Song of Lempira" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. International
Poetry Review 6.2: 78–87.
"Trip to New York" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal.
Sun 4.3: 23–37.
Zero Hour and Other Documentary Poems [T]. By
Ernesto Cardenal. With trs. Paul W. Borgeson, Jr.,
Robert Pring-Mill and Donald D. Walsh. New York: New Directions.
"Living Fossil Is Coming Ashore" [J]. New York Times,
June 10, sec. 11 (LI): 21.
Poems from the Island [P]. Port Jefferson, NY:
Street. ["Jonathan Cohen has re-created a sense of place, given a 'local habitation and a name' to an island too often seen as simply a wide shoulder for a highway on which people with no history hurry toward no future." — Paul Dolan, author of Tradition in Modern Literary Criticism]
The Dark Room and Other Poems [T]. By Enrique
Lihn. With trs. John Felstiner and David Unger. New York: New
["What amazes me in this collection is that these three translators, poets themselves, have managed to show the poet as he essentially is and have not intruded their own style into what he has to say. This is the soul of good translation: you will defend to the death the way you have done the thing, but you will always defend it as you see, or think, the poet has seen fit. This is one of the best 'collective' collections of translations that I have seen in many a moon wherein the poet has been preserved as he is by those who work on him." — Gregory Rabassa, Parnassus]
"The Island" [P]. New York Times, Apr. 9, sec. 11
"Niagara Falls" [P]. Street Magazine 2.4: 34.
"Album"; "The sea isn't for you to think about
" [T]. By
Enrique Lihn. Street Magazine 2.3: 58–59.
"A Black Poet's View on Christmas 1760: America's First Black
Poet" [J]. New York Times, Dec. 25, sec. 11 (LI): 9+.
H. R. Hays & Spanish America [C]. Port
Jefferson, NY: Street.
"Kentucky" [T]. By Ernesto Cardenal. Niagara Magazine
"The Montauk That Might Have Been: A Dream of Another Miami"
[J]. New York Times, Aug. 25, sec. 11 (LI): 21–22.
"'The Most Economical Caribbean Paradises
Cotton Fields"; "Calls"; "José Dolores Estrada" [T]. By Ernesto
Cardenal. Street Magazine 2.3: 60–63.
"Paradise" [P]. New York Times, Apr. 3, sec. 11 (LI):
"The Phantoms of the Ocean" [J]. New York Times, May
1, sec. 11 (LI): 35.
"Stories Told in Stone: Gravestones as Folk Art" [J]. New
York Times, Mar. 6, sec. 11 (LI): 3+.
"Port Jefferson"; "Pygmalion" [P]. Quarry West 5: n.
"Sermon on Blood"; "Sermon on Thunder and Lightning";
"Elegies"; "Out There"; "Sojourn of the Soul Awaiting Peace";
"Sojourn of the Imprisoned Soul" [T]. By Rafael Alberti.
Pequod 2.1: 89–95.
"Journey through Streets" [T]. By Javier Heraud. Street
Magazine 2.1: n. pag.