Selected Translations


This book makes an irresistible if accidental anthology, whose poems form a coherent conversation: works one translator-reader has loved enough to choose to bring into a supple, muscular English. . . . Stavans is a national treasure, increasing the available English storehouse of world poetry’s languages, experiences, and multiplicity of vision.
Jane Hirschfield

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For twenty years, Ilan Stavans has been translating poetry from Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, Russian, German, Georgian, and other languages. His versions of Borges, Neruda, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Ferreira Gullar, Raúl Zurita, and dozens of others have become classics. This volume, which includes poems from more than forty poets from all over the world, is testimony to a life dedicated to the pursuit of beauty through poetry in different languages.

“Lightning from the Stable” by Elizabeth Schön (Venezuela, 1921–2007)

You don’t choose
the abyss, the chaos, the nothingness
They reach you
in water running slowly
for you not to be surprised
by the absence of matter around you
near the light of the soul calling
the wing’s passing flap of the earth you live in.

208 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 2021

isbn : 9780822966609

about the author

Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the author and translator of numerous books, including The Seventh Heaven: Jewish Travels Through Latin America and The Wall.

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Ilan Stavans