The Complete Poetry
César Vallejo, edited and translated by Clayton Eshleman
Despite his short life, Peru’s César Vallejo’s body of poetry is worthy of inclusion among that of the last century’s great Spanish-language poets: Rubén Darío, Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca. This volume collects the two books published during Vallejo’s lifetime, as well as the posthumous poems, for the first time with a sole translator. Mario Vargas Llosa’s foreword and Efraín Kristal’s introduction might be reason enough to buy the book, but a single read-through puts The Complete Poetry on the must-have list. The early poems’ tension between carnality and divinity, his Whitman-esque invocation of the voice of his people and the transition to more political and prose poems, taken all at once, are proof positive of the range Vallejo’s command of a luxurious language granted him.