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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Republic of Poetry

What sort of place is "The Republic of Poetry"? As portrayed in the title poem of Martín Espada's dynamic eighth collection, it's a place where poets eat for free in restaurants, where "poets rent a helicopter/ to bombard the national palace/ with poems on bookmarks," and where "the guard at the airport/ will not allow you to leave the country/ until you declaim a poem for her/ and she says Ah! Beautiful." Review by Megan Harlan here

I met Martin Espada this past year at an event in Kansas City. Espada is an authority on Pablo Neruda as well as a widely published translator of Neruda's work. This looks to be another work inspired by Neruda's flair for language that has become such a strong influence on Espada. Should make for good reading.

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