Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral by Gabriela Mistral. Albuquerque. 2003. University of New Mexico Press. 407 pages. hardcover. 0826328180.





   The first Nobel Prize in literature to be awarded to a Latin American writer went to the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Famous and beloved during her lifetime all over Latin America and in Europe, Mistral has never been known in North America as she deserves to be. The reputation of her more flamboyant and accessible friend and countryman Pablo Neruda has overshadowed hers, and she has been officially sentimentalized into a ‘poetess’ of children and motherhood. Translations, and even selections of her work in Spanish, have tended to underplay the darkness, the strangeness, and the raging intensity of her poems of grief and pain, the yearning power of her evocations of the Chilean landscape, the stark music of her Round Dances, the visionary splendor of her Hymns of America. During her lifetime Mistral published four books: Desolation, TENDERNESS, CLEARCUT, and WINEPRESS. These are included in the ‘Complete’ Nobel edition published in Madrid; the Poem of Chile, her last book, was printed years after her death. Le Guin includes poems from all five books in this volume, with particular emphasis on the later work. The intelligence and passion of Le Guin's selection and translation will finally allow people in the North to hear the originality, power, purity, and intransigence of this great American voice. CONTENTS: Foreword; Introduction - About Mistral; The Strong Woman; The Baby Left Alone; Torture; Love Unspoken; Inmost; God Wills It; Shame; Ballad: The Other Woman; Interrogation; Waiting in Vain; Verses: In my mouth. .; Poem of the Son; Verses: By the blue flame. .; The Bones of the Dead; Sea-song of Those who Seek to Forget; Patagonian Landscapes; To the Clouds; Autumn; Summit; Starsong; Rocking; Discovery; Dew; Quechua Song; The Sleep-Wave; Patagonian Lullabye; Song of Death; Mexican Child; Little Bud; Little Star; Weaving the Round; Give me your Hand; Child's Land; Color Round; Rainbow Round; The Ones Not Dancing; Round Dance of the Metals; All-Round; Fire Round; Let Him Not Grow Up; Fear; Given Back; The Empty Nutshell; The Bit of Straw; The Girl with the Crippled Hand; The Rat; The Parrot; The Peacock; The World-Teller; Wind; Light; Water; Rainbow; Strawberry; Mountain; Larks; Pine Woods; Sky Car; Fire; The House; The Earth; Little Feet; Hymn to the Tree; Flight; Riches; The Cup; The Midnight; Two Angels; Paradise; Grace; The Rose; The Death-Girl; Airflower; The Shadow; The Ghost; Bread; Salt; Agua; The Wind; Two Hymns: Tropic Sun, The Cordillera; The Corn; Absence Country; The Foreigner; To Drink; Four Queens; Things; Wall; Old Lion; Song of the Dead Girls; Undone; Confession; Old Woman; Pigeons; The Other Woman; Deserted; The Worrier; The Dancer; Set Free; The Sleepless Woman; The Lucky One; The Fervent One; The Farmwife; The Walker; A Woman; Prisoner's Wife; A Compassionate Woman; California Poppy; The Discovery of the Palm Grove; The Stone of Parahibuna; Death of the Sea; Ocotillo; Cuban Palms; Sharing Out; Message to Blanca; The Fall of Europe; The Footprint; Lady Poison; Eight Puppies; Anniversary; Mourning; A Word; I Sing What You Loved; Farm Tools; The Return; Doors; Jewish Refugee Woman; Dawn; Morning; Evening; Night; Last Tree; Discovery; In Thirst-White Lands; Nightfall; Elqui Valley; My Mountains; Mount Aconcagua; Clover Patch; The Valley of Chile; Palms of Ocoa; Herons; Bird Migration; Cormorants; Houses; Poplar Roads;Mistral Gabriela Falls of the Laja; Bio-Bio; Araucanians; Austral Forest; Moss; Ferns; Lake Llanquihue; Fog; Four Seasons of the Huemul; Faraway Patagonia; Return; The Teller of Tales; Thanksgiving; Ballad of my Name; Electra in the Fog; A Brief Chronology of Mistral's Life.



Gabriela Mistral (7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and feminist. She was the first Latin American (and, so far, the only Latin American woman) to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she did in 1945 'for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world'. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note. 

 Leguin Ursula K

Ursula Le Guin has published five volumes of her own poetry, an English version of Lao Tzu's TAO TE CHING, and a volume of mutual translation with the Argentine poet Diana Bellessi, THE TWINS, THE DREAM/LAS GEMALAS, EL SUEÑO. Strongly drawn to Mistral's work as soon as she discovered it, Le Guin has been working on this translation for five years.




 Price V B

V. B. Price, a UNM alumnus, is a journalist and the author of several books that are available from UNM Press. He is a distinguished poet and critic, and the recipient of the Erna Fergusson Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Alumni Association of the University of New Mexico. He lives in Albuquerque.










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