Finished the stranger, with whom, late
Finished the heated afternoon;
Finally finished everything: the vacations,
And finished the diminutive, on behalf of
Copyright © 1992. Rebecca Seiferle. All Rights Reserved.
"The book was born in a complete void. I am responsible for it. I assume all responsibilites for its esthetics. Today, more than ever, I feel a sacred obligation, until now unknown, weighing upon me; that of being free! If I am not free today, I will never be. I feel the arch of my forehead desiring its heroic imperative strength . . . God knows what horrifying borders I have approached, filled with fear, terrified that everything was going to die completely so that my poor soul would live . . . I want to be free . . . But being free, at times, I feel surrounded by a dreadful ridicule with the air of a child that carries a spoon in his nostrils . . ."
Reviews and comments:
Trilce is known as the greatest Spanish poem of the twentieth century. Rebecca Seiferle evokes the heart of the matter, Vallejos struggle to integrate, at least for his own resolution, two opposing, irreconcilable cultures, the Incan and the Spanish. I think it is an amazing accomplishment. As with the original, the poem in translation is a stark light on a profound, explosive issue in our hemisphere. David Ignatow
Vallejo, as a half Inca, half Spaniard, attacks the Spaniards through their language, Spanish, for having invaded and destroyed Inca America, so the language of his poems is often broken, lisping, distorted, and sometimes, it tries to be educated scientific Spanish; all for political, sexual, and family reasons.... I found reading this book like riding an emotional rollercoaster of yes! Yes! No! No! Shes right! Shes wrong! She doesnt understand! I dont understand! Ah, we understand! This is a very important working translation. Alan Dugan
What wonderful translations Rebecca Seiferle has made of César Vallejos great, and difficult, and breathtakingly human book Trilce. She helps these poems come alive, in English, in ways, I never thought possible. A tremendous achievement. Thomas Lux
Vallejos Trilce speaks for itselfand therein is the power of this translation. It is a muscular, accomplished cultivation, yet rendered quiet in relation to what it allows: Vallejo. Alberto Rios
In Trilce, César Vallejo tears the language of his poetry out of Spanish and Peruvian Quechua. He fights a revolution in words not unlike that which Paul Celan was to fight in the sidestreets of the German language some years later. Rebecca Seiferle is a New Mexico poet uniquely suited to the hazards of this translation. Its pages are open to anyone who wants to read poetry at its bravest." Stanley Moss.
César Vallejo is a high priest of heresy. The poems in Trilce break code after codesyntax, Western disciplines, and Christianity are routinely betrayed into new meanings. Vallejos subversions constitute the special treason of the insider, the expert, the heir. Geoffrey Gordon OBrien
Vallejos poetry combines excruciatingly personal emotions with imagery that at first appears
facetious but turns out to be wordplay with a larger purpose...The 77 poems reflect upon the poets
dual Spanish and Peruvian Indian heritage in a dialect that mocks Spanish grammar with Incan
idioms, plays on the similarity between words and tosses in medical terms...to enhance the surreal
effect. Seiferles insightful introduction and footnotes serve as necessary maps to the books
political contextVallejos assertion of the Incan side of his identity-and intellectual strengths.
The sensitive translation of an extremely difficult text in this bilingual edition commemorates the
centennial of Vallejos birth and the 70th anniversary of the books original publication;
ironically, it also coincides with the 500th anniversary of Columbuss discovery of America.
Seiferles version is attuned to more standard English. Without shirking the authors perplexities,
she opts for straightforward and orderly phrasing. Close to where the water beats the shore offers
an entry to number XX more concrete and elemental than Eshlemans Flush with bubbling milk scum.
Her introduction, addressing the sexual underpinnings and Quechua linguistic background of
Vallejos book is valuable and convincing. LA Weekly.