This book is published as part of the Poets in the World series created by The Poetry Foundation's Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. Ilya Kaminsky, Series Editor.
"In a century of mass migration and deportation, political exile and casual tourism, being elsewhere was the common condition. For the moderns, elsewhere was not merely physical location or dislocation, but was intrinsic to the work. Victor Segalen, in China at the beginning of the century, writes of the 'manifestation of Diversity,' a 'spectacle of Difference': everything that is 'foreign, strange, unexpected, surprising, mysterious, amorous, superhuman, heroic, and even divine, everything that is Other.' Picasso put it more bluntly: 'Strangeness is what we wanted to make people think about because we were quite aware that our world was becoming very strange.' After Guillaume Apollinaire's 'Zone'—perhaps the most influential poem of the century—collage, the juxtaposition of disparate elements, the manifestation of diversity, the making of the strange, became the primary new form of the new poetry.
"From the countless examples, here are a few instances of the collage of a poet pasted, physically or mentally, onto a specific unfamiliar landscape."
So begins Eliot Weinberger's essayistic travels into the nature of "journey" poetry. From Ko¯taro¯ Takamura's poem about Paris, to Fernando Pessoa's "At the wheel of the Chevrolet on the road to Sintra," to Apollinaire's "Ocean-Letter," Weinberger introduces fourteen poems illustrating the contemporary situation of being "elsewhere."
Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, poet, editor, and translator who won the National Book Critics Circle award for criticism for his edition of Jorge Luis Borges's Selected Non-Fictions. His translations of Octavio Paz are highly regarded, as are his translations of Homero Aridjis, Bei Dao, and others
Here is a complete list of contributors to this collection:
Jorge Carrera Andrade
Federico García Lorca
Léopold Sédar Senghor
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