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Review: Paradise Empty: Poems 1983-2013, by Hugo Mujica

[...]Mujica's selected works (are) chosen and translated by two Argentinian professors of Spanish. There are a hundred and eleven poems taken from eleven collections spread over thirty years, so one would not expect a clear and unified purpose.
Having the poems in the original Spanish as well as the translation can provide interesting insight for we can see, for example, the largely word for word equivalence between the two texts, the extent to which the translators have preserved visual and syntactic forms, and even get some sense of whether there are rhythmic variations or sonic echoes from original to translation. I found this a really interesting exercise.
Mujica's poetry is often testing, as it clearly wants to push the reader to some sort of realisation or understanding of identity, perception, illusion, relationship, reality, which is not explicated nut left to the reader to draw from the imagery and language itself. It has to be read within an open mind, and the expectation that what we get from it will come as much (by) linguistic osmosis as direct understanding. But even if we don't 'get' the poem, we can still enjoy much of the imagery and the exactness of expression[...].
Mujica's poems most (but not all), at first sight, seem to be short, telegraphic statements akin to Ferro's impressionism. However, where Ferro seeks openness and multivalent readings, Mujica is perhaps looking for the opposite - that precise distillation of the exact thought or idea, a philosophy rather than poem for poem's sake.
Mujica is an intellectual challenge, needing meticulous reading; [...] powerful, and so potentially rewarding[...].