For José Emilio Pacheco time is the agent of universal destruction, and history—the passage of ruins…Pacheco exalts the triumph of nature over culture, but in exalting it, doesn't he transfigure it, changing it into the word, or—as he puts it—into ‘fleeting music, the counterpoint of wind and water’?
—Octavio Paz

Selected Poems of Jose Emilio Pacheco

Poetry by José Emilio Pacheco

José Emilio Pacheco’s Selected Poems is the first major retrospective gathering to appear in an English-Spanish bilingual format of the work of one of Mexico’s foremost writers. Born in 1939, his talent was recognized early, and while still in his twenties he was already keeping company with the great Spanish-speaking poets of Latin America. A prolific poet and a perfectionist, Pacheco has since 1962 published seven volumes of poetry, including the National Poetry Prize-winning No me preguntes como pasa el tiempo (Don’t Ask Me How the Time Goes By) in 1969. Tarde o temprano, collected poems of 1958 to 1980, contains the revisions on which the translations in the present volume are based. The Selected Poems is edited by George McWhirter of The University of British Columbia, who worked closely with Pacheco himself in choosing the poems and their English translations. Besides McWhirter’s own versions are those by Thomas Hoeksema, Alastair Reid, and Linda Scheer, as well as Edward Dorn and Gordon Brotherston, Katherine Silver, and Elizabeth Umlas. Affirming the poet’s stature, McWhirter writes: “In his singularity of vision and multiplicity of poetic forms, traditional and modern, José Emillo Pacheco spans past and present in both Latin American and peninsular Spanish poetry. It is a glittering and giant technical achievement, as brilliant and instantly visible as Hart Crane’s The Bridge.”

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Paperback (published May 1, 1987)

ISBN
9780811210225
Price US
17.95

Clothbound (published May 1, 1987)

ISBN
9780811210218
Price US
23.95
Page Count
224

José Emilio Pacheco

20th Century Mexican Poet

For José Emilio Pacheco time is the agent of universal destruction, and history—the passage of ruins…Pacheco exalts the triumph of nature over culture, but in exalting it, doesn't he transfigure it, changing it into the word, or—as he puts it—into ‘fleeting music, the counterpoint of wind and water’?
—Octavio Paz