Here is a lucid, forthright poet charmed by the paradoxes of each poem, by the tiny gestures and traces of life faceted within each poem, and by the vocation of poetry itself.

—Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Poems of effervescent grace from one of the best- known and best-loved poets of Portugal

Available March 5, 2019

What's in a Name

Poetry by Ana Luísa Amaral

Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

With the elliptical looping of a butterfly alighting on one’s sleeve, the poems of Ana Luísa Amaral arrive as small hypnotic miracles. Spare and beautiful in a way reminiscent both of Szymborska and of Emily Dickinson (it comes as no surprise that Amaral is the leading Portuguese translator of Dickinson), these poems—in Margaret Jull Costa’s gorgeous English versions—seamlessly interweave the everyday with the dreamlike and ask “What’s in a name?”

“How solid is a name if answered to,” Amaral answers, but “like the Rose—no, like its perfume: ungovernable. Free.” 

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published March 5, 2019)

ISBN
9780811228329
Price US
16.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
160
ISBN
9780811228336

Here is a lucid, forthright poet charmed by the paradoxes of each poem, by the tiny gestures and traces of life faceted within each poem, and by the vocation of poetry itself.

—Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Inspired: Amaral’s poetry possesses an intimacy that grants it a sense of timelessness. Yet it speaks to the moment we find ourselves in today.

Translation and Literature

For the Portuguese poet Ana Luísa Amaral, poetry and everyday life are closely intertwined. Her understated, elliptical, beautifully crafted, and ironic poems draw largely on domestic life but also on Greek myth, the Bible, and local architecture. What’s in a Name is both funny and deeply poignant: it should have a very wide readership!

—Marjorie Perloff

Brilliant: her words celebrate the hidden potentiality inside every woman—and the spontaneity of life itself, even in the contemplation of sudden death.

Asymptote

Ana Luísa Amaral insists upon a reflection on art as an intensely human act. Her poetics is inextricably enmeshed with ethics.

—Professor Paulo de Medeiros

Amaral carves a space for fragmentation, uncertainty, and meditative silence within the repertoire of inherited forms. In this accomplished volume and translation, Amaral’s subtle experimentation makes strange an artistic repertoire we thought we knew.

Publishers Weekly