Time Without Keys
Poetry by Ida Vitale
With a contribution by Sarah Pollack
Cover design by Tyler Comrie
“Like this bird / that waits until the light dies / to begin singing, / I write in darkness, / when nothing shines / and calls out from the earth.”
The celebrated writer Álvaro Mutis envied new readers of Ida Vitale’s poetry: “unexpected pleasures await them.” Time Without Keys: Selected Poems is the first volume of Vitale’s illustrious poetry to appear in the US. The selection spans seventy-five years and the wonders within abound—the skies over Montevideo, falconry, the saxifrage’s bloom, gratitude for the alphabet and for summer—as do urgent questions about our relationship with the world. How does our perception of time shape history, as well as our social and political constructs? Vitale’s poetic and human vitality have made her a storied figure in the Spanish language and beyond; her writing is revered for being classic and modern, precise and lucid, intellectually challenging and rich in tradition. This bilingual edition, presented in reverse chronological order, offers the reader a wide range of Vitale’s most beloved poems as well as a wealth of recent work. The translator Sarah Pollack, Vitale’s first translator into English, has written an informative afterword about Vitale’s life and work.