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by Fernando Valverde

Kurt Cobain cierra la puerta de su invernadero

Me siento eufórico y triste,

voy a tomar algunas notas para una canción

si se acaban el asco y las ganas de vomitar.

Tengo un par de deseos cumplidos dentro de una caja de cigarros,

esta tristeza eufórica se parece a la música,

entra por todos los sentidos,

o tal vez sale, venosa, inyectable,

se dirige hacia otro que me observa

y me conoce

y se siente ofendido por mi indiferencia.

Ya había olvidado lo aburrida y estúpida que es la realidad

hay zumo de tomate en la nevera

voy a dejar alguna línea



el suelo está demasiado frío

guardo algunas canciones en una caja con forma de corazón

encontraré un lugar en el que el sol no me moleste.

Kurt Cobain Closes the Door of His Greenhouse

Translated by Carolyn Forché

I feel euphoric and sad

I'm going to take some notes for a song

if I can't get over the disgust and the desire to vomit.

I have a couple of wishes ready inside a cigar box,

this euphoric sadness is like music,

it enters through all my senses,

or maybe it comes out, venous, injectable,

directed toward another who observes me

and knows me

and feels offended by my indifference.

I had already forgotten how boring and stupid reality is

there's tomato juice in the fridge

I'm going to leave some lines behind



the floor is too cold

I've got some songs in a heart-shaped box

I will find a place where the sun doesn't bother me.

From America by Fernando Valverde, translated by Carolyn Forché. Copyright ©2021. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.


Fernando Valverde (Granada, 1980) has been voted the most relevant Spanish-language poet born since 1970 by nearly two hundred critics and researchers from more than one hundred international universities (Harvard, Oxford, Columbia, Princeton, Bologna, Salamanca, UNAM and the Sorbonne). His books have been published in different countries in Europe and America and translated into several languages. He has received some of the most significant awards for poetry in Spanish, among them the Federico García Lorca, the Emilio Alarcos del Principado de Asturias, and the Antonio Machado. His last book, The Insistence of Harm, has been the most-sold book of poetry in Spain for months and has received the Book of the Year award from the Latino American Writers Institute of the City University of New York. For his collaboration in a work of fusion between poetry and flamenco he was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2014. For ten years he has worked as a journalist for the Spanish newspaper El País. He directs the International Festival of Poetry in Granada, one of the most important literary events in Europe, that has received more than 300 authors, including several Nobel Prize laureates. and is a professor at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, EEUU). His latest book, America, has been published by Copper Canyon Press with translation by Carolyn Forché.

Carolyn Forché’s first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. Her most recent collection is In the Lateness of the World. She is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Random House, 2019), a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others, which was nominated for the 2019 National Book Awards. She has translated Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice,” and is followed by the 2014 anthology The Poetry of Witness. In 1998, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award in Stockholm for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture.


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