Selected Translations

2000-2020

Stavan’s Selected Translations could as well have been called: Delectable Translations. It shouldn’t be noteworthy that almost half of the work is by women, but in the history of literary anthologies, such attentiveness is rare. Another surprise: not only do we encounter Stavans’ best known translations of Latin American poetry, but also his translations of poets from Belarus, Switzerland, Georgia, Spain, Poland, Russia, Israel, and other countries. That he translates the poems he feels closest to is obvious: this is a collection of gems. Reader, you are holding in your hand what you will come to call your favorite course in world literature.
Forrest Gander

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.

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