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Jack Spicer – After Lorca

What our staff has to say: “Jack Spicer ‘translates’ and rewrites a selection of Lorca poems, often creating a hybrid mix of both. Anyone that says that poetry is overly serious or can’t be playful should take note” – Cleo
Out of print for decades, this is the legendary American poet’s tribute to Federico García Lorca, including translations of the great Spanish poet’s work.
“Frankly I was quite surprised when Mr. Spicer asked me to write the introduction to this volume,” writes the long-dead Spanish poet at the start of Jack Spicer’s After Lorca, Spicer’s first book and one that, since it first appeared in 1957, has continued to exert an an immense influence on poetry in America and in the world. “It must be made clear at the start that these poems are not translations,” Lorca continues. “In even the most literal of them, Mr. Spicer seems to derive pleasure in inserting or substituting one or two words which completely change the mood and often the meaning of the poem as I have written it. More often he takes one of my poems and adjoins to half of it another of his own, giving an effect rather like an unwillling centaur. (Modesty forbids me to speculate which end of the animal is mine.) Finally there are an almost equal number of poems that I did not write at all (one supposes that they must be his).” The riddling, ghostly, funny, philosophical, and haunting poetry of After Lorca, interspered with Spicer’s letters to Lorca (“A really perfect poem has an infinitely small vocabulary”; “Some poems are easily laid. They will give themselves to anybody”) appears here with an introduction by Peter Gizzi, the executor of the Spicer estate and one of America’s finest contemporary poets, in an edition that is printed in conformity with the poet’s original intentions