Donald D. Walsh

cover image of the book Zero Hour And Other Documentary Poems

Zero Hour And Other Documentary Poems

Zero Hour and Other Documentary Poems brings together in English translation eight of the longer poems by Nicaragua’s impassioned Marxist priest, Ernesto Cardenal, described in the Times Literary Supplement as “the outstanding socially committed poet of his generation in Spanish America.” His work, like Pablo Neruda’s, is unabashedly political; like Ezra Pound’s, his poems demonstrate history on an epic scale––but the voice is all his own and speaks from the heart of a land sunk for generations in poverty, oppression, and turmoil. As both activist and contemplative, Cardenal maintained strong ties with the Sandinist guerillas while at the same time living a form of primitive Christianity at his religious settlement of Our Lady of Solentiname on an island in Lake Nicaragua. In late 1977, amid increasing civil violence, the Nicaraguan National Guard utterly destroyed the Solentiname community, and Cardenal fled to neighboring Costa Rica, where he continued his efforts on behalf of the revolutionary movement. With the final collapse of the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, he returned to Nicaragua as his country’s new Minister of Culture. Spanning a quarter century, the poems in Zero Hour constitute a vivid record of continuous struggle against flagrant exploitation and brutal indifference to common humanity.

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cover image of the book Apocalypse And Other Poems

Apocalypse And Other Poems

Apocalypse and Other Poems by Nicaragua’s revolutionist poet-priest, Ernesto Cardenal, is the author’s second book, the first of poetry, to be published by New Directions. The editors of this volume, Robert Pring-Mill and Donald D. Walsh, have chosen a representative selection of Cardenal’s shorter protest poems, epigrams, religious, and Amerindian verse. Also included are two of Cardenal’s most impressive longer works: the haunting and melodic elegy, “Coplas on the Death of Merton,” and the title poem, “Apocalypse,” in which the theme of an ever-threatening nuclear holocaust is the core of a modern rendering of the Book of Revelations. At Our Lady of Solentiname, his religious community on an island in Lake Nicaragua, living and working in the manner of the early Christians, Father Cardenal embodies what he professes: “Now in Latin America, to practice religion is to make revolution.” An informative introduction has been contributed by Robert Pring-Mill of Oxford University. The translations are by Thomas Merton, Robert Pring-Mill, Kenneth Rexroth and Mireya Jaimes-Freyre, and Donald D. Walsh, who also translated In Cuba, Cardenal’s assessment of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary society, published by New Directions in 1974.

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cover image of the book The Captain’s Verses

The Captain’s Verses

Neruda finished writing The Captain’s Verses in 1952 while in exile on the island of Capri — the paradisal setting (islands of Procida and Salina) of the Academy-Award-winning film Il Postino. Surrounded by the natural splendor of Capri, Neruda addressed these poems of love, ecstasy, devotion, and fury to his lover, Matilda Urrutia. Later the same year, Neruda published The Captain’s Verses anonymously in an edition of fifty copies, fourteen years before he and Matilde legally married. The first “acknowledged” edition would not appear until 1963. This complete, bilingual collection has become a classic for love struck readers around the world — passionate, sensuous, and burning with all the erotic energy of a new love.

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cover image of the book Love Poems

Love Poems

Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda’s love poems caused a scandal when published anonymously in 1952. In later editions, these verses became the most celebrated of the Noble Prize winner’s oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images that reveal in gentle lingering lines an erotic re-imagining of the world through the prism of a lover’s body: “today our bodies became vast, they grew to the edge of the world / and rolled melting / into a single drop / of wax or meteor….” Written on the paradisal island of Capri, where Neruda “took refuge” in the arms of his lover Matilde Urrutia, Love Poems embraces the seascapes around them, saturating the images of endless shores and waves with a new, yearning eroticism. This wonderful book collects Neruda’s most passionate verses.

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cover image of the book Spain In Our Hearts

Spain In Our Hearts

In 1936, Pablo Neruda was Chile’s consul in Madrid, and so horrified by the civil war and the murder of his friend, Federico García Lorca, that he started writing what became his most politically passionate series of poems, Spain in Our Hearts. The collection was printed by soldiers on the front lines of the war, and later incorporated into the third volume of Neruda’s revolutionary collection, Residence on Earth. This bilingual New Directions Bibelot edition presents Spain in Our Hearts as a single book as it was first published, a tribute to Neruda’s everlasting spirit.

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Residence On Earth

Residence on Earth (Residencia en la tierra) is widely regarded as Pablo Neruda’s most influential work, a tempestuous ocean that became “a revolution…a classic by which masterpieces are judged” (Review). “In Residence on Earth,” wrote Amado Alonso, “the tornado of fury will no longer pass without lingering, because it will be identified with Neruda’s heart.” Written in the span of two decades (1925-1945), beginning when Neruda was twenty-one, Residence on Earth was originally published in Spanish in three successive volumes (1933 1935, 1947), all available in this definitive bilingual edition. Most of these poems were penned when Neruda was a self-exiled diplomat in isolated regions of South Asia. A vortex of time and being; of loneliness, cycles of the natural world, decay, destruction, silence, resurrection; of luminous solitude, blue oblivion, and of such deep melancholy that at one time Neruda considered renouncing the whole book and withdrawing it from circulation; of the erotic night, love’s impulse, and memory’s persistence; of odes to Lorca and lovers, elegies, songs, sonatas, and barcaroles; of the magnificent series of poems, Spain in Our Hearts, that Republican soldiers of the Spanish civil war printed at the eastern front; of sea waves, landslides, jellyfish, and a planet of swords––Residence on Earth is truly a work of intimate vastness, of lasting consummation.

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cover image of the book In Cuba

In Cuba

The work of the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal is widely read throughout Spanish America today. As a Catholic priest who is also a Marxist revolutionary, his sympathies and understanding span the polarities of popular sentiment, allowing him to view objectively what others, out of ignorance or self-interest, fear. In 1970, eleven years after Fidel Castro’s triumphant Revolution, Cardenal was invited to Havana by the House of the Americas, to sit on the poetry panel of its annual literary competition. Leaving Solentiname, his religious commune, he came to Cuba and remained for several months, keeping voluminous notes on all that he heard and saw. The result was In Cuba, a spontaneous, discursive, and not altogether uncritical account of life in a revolutionary society. Hovering over Cardenal’s whole view of Cuba is the mythic presence of Che Guevara, the martyred revolutionary, and that of the flesh-and-blood Fidel. Appropriately enough, the book culminates in a description of the Cuban premier’s four-hour speech on the 26th of July, and concludes with a private interview with Castro, held the following year. Translated for the first time into English by Donald D. Walsh, this edition includes a helpful glossary and chronology of recent Cuban history.

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