Raul Zurita, winner of the Chilean National Poetry Prize, is one of the best known poets of Latin America. His work is part of a revolution in poetic language that began in the 1970s and sought to find new forms of expression, radically different from those of Pablo Neruda. The challenge was to confront the contemporary epoch, with its particular forms of violence, including violence done to language. Zurita is the author of Purgatory (new translation published by California UP) and of Anteparadise, among many other books.
From Sunday Morning
trs. by Anna Deeny
Over the cliffs of the hillside: the sun
then below in the valley
the earth covered with flowers
Zurita enamored friend
takes in the sun of photosynthesis
Zurita will now never again be friend
since 7 P.M. it’s been getting dark
Night is the insane asylum of the plants
Enclose with the four wall of
a bathroom: I looked up at the ceiling
and began to clean the walls and
the floor the sink all of it
You see: Outside the sky was God
and he was sucking at my soul–believe me!
I wiped my weeping eyes.