Selected Prose and Prose-Poems

9780292752665: Paperback
Release Date: 1st September 2004

Dimensions: 152 x 235

Number of Pages: 262

Series Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture, Texas Pan American Literature in Translation

University of Texas Press

Selected Prose and Prose-Poems

Written by
Gabriela Mistral
Edited and translated by
Stephen Tapscott
Paperback / £20.99

The first Latin American to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature, the Chilean writer Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) is often characterized as a healing, maternal voice who spoke on behalf of women, indigenous peoples, the disenfranchised, children, and the rural poor. She is that political poet and more: a poet of philosophical meditation, self-consciousness, and daring. This is a book full of surprises and paradoxes. The complexity and structural boldness of these prose-poems, especially the female-erotic prose pieces of her first book, make them an important moment in the history of literary modernism in a tradition that runs from Baudelaire, the North American moderns, and the South American postmodernistas. It's a book that will be eye-opening and informative to the general reader as well as to students of gender studies, cultural studies, literary history, and poetry.

This Spanish-English bilingual volume gathers the most famous and representative prose writings of Gabriela Mistral, which have not been as readily available to English-only readers as her poetry. The pieces are grouped into four sections. "Fables, Elegies, and Things of the Earth" includes fifteen of Mistral's most accessible prose-poems. "Prose and Prose-Poems from Desolación / Desolation [1922]" presents all the prose from Mistral's first important book. "Lyrical Biographies" are Mistral's poetic meditations on Saint Francis and Sor Juana de la Cruz. "Literary Essays, Journalism, 'Messages'" collects pieces that reveal Mistral's opinions on a wide range of subjects, including the practice of teaching; the writers Alfonso Reyes, Alfonsina Storni, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Pablo Neruda; Mistral's own writing practices; and her social beliefs. Editor/translator Stephen Tapscott rounds out the volume with a chronology of Mistral's life and a brief introduction to her career and prose.

  • Biographical Data
  • Principal Publications
  • I. Fables, Elegies, and Things of the Earth
    • El mar
    • The Sea
    • La cebra
    • The Zebra
    • El faisán dorado
    • The Golden Pheasant
    • La harina
    • Flour
    • Elogio de la sal
    • In Praise of Salt
    • El higo
    • The Fig
    • La piña
    • The Pineapple
    • La tortuga
    • The Tortoise
    • Pan
    • Bread
    • La jirafa
    • The Giraffe
    • La alpaca
    • The Alpaca
    • El girasol
    • The Sunflower
    • Elogio del cristal
    • In Praise of Glass
    • Elogio de la arena
    • In Praise of Sand
    • Segundo elogio de la arena
    • Second Praise-Song for the Sand
  • II. Prose and Prose-Poems from Desolación/Desolation (1922)
    • La oración de la maestra
    • The Teacher's Prayer
    • Los cabellos de los niños
    • Children's Hair
    • Poemas de las madres
    • Poems of the Mothers
      • I. Poemas de las madres
      • I. Poems of the Mothers
      • II. Poemas de la madre más triste
      • II. Poems of the Saddest Mother
      • Nota
      • Note
    • Canciones de cuna
    • Lullabies
    • Motivos del barro
    • Motifs of Clay
    • La flor de cuatro pétalos
    • The Four-Petaled Flower
    • Poemas del éxtasis
    • Poems of Ecstasy
    • El arte
    • Art
    • Decálogo del artista
    • Decalogue of the Artist
    • Comentarios a poemas de Rabindranath Tagore
    • Commentary on Poems by Rabindranath Tagore
    • Lecturas espirituales
    • Spiritual Readings
    • Motivos de la Pasión
    • Motifs of the Passion
    • Poemas del hogar
    • Poems of the Home
    • Prosa escolar/Cuentos escolares
    • Scholarly Prose/Stories for Schools
      • Por qué las cañas son huecas
      • Why Bamboo Canes Are Hollow
      • Por qué las rosas tienen espinas
      • Why Roses Have Thorns
      • La raíz del rosal
      • The Root of the Rosebush
      • El cardo
      • The Thistle
      • La charca
      • The Puddle
  • III. Lyrical Biographies
    • Canto a San Francisco
    • Song to Saint Francis
    • Silueta de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
    • Profile of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • IV. Literary Essays, Journalism, "Messages"
    • Decir el sueño
    • To Declare the Dream
    • Pensamientos pedagógicos
    • Thoughts on Teaching
    • Silueta de la india mexicana
    • Profile of the Mexican Indian Woman
    • Chile
    • Chile
    • Un hombre de México: Alfonso Reyes
    • A Man of Mexico: Alfonso Reyes
    • Alfonsina Storni
    • Alfonsina Storni
    • Invitación a la lectura de Rainer María Rilke
    • An Invitation to Read Rainer Maria Rilke
    • Si Napoleón no hubiese existido
    • If Napoleon Had Never Existed
    • José Martí
    • José Martí
    • Recado sobre Pablo Neruda
    • A Message about Pablo Neruda
    • Como escribo
    • How I Write
    • Sobre cuatro sorbos de agua
    • On Four Sips of Water
    • La palabra maldita
    • The Forbidden Word
    • Mis ideas sociales
    • My Social Beliefs
  • Translator's Remarks
  • Index of Titles

Stephen Tapscott is Professor of Literature at MIT. He translated Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets / Cien sonetos de amor (UT Press, 1986).

"With his new translations . . . Stephen Tapscott makes great strides toward redefining Mistral, her work, and her life for the North American reader. This collection denies the critical urge to allow Mistral’s most celebrated poetry to trump her multifaceted achievements and broad intellectual interests. For the anglophone Mistral aficionado, Selected Prose and Prose-Poems is a breath of fresh air from a window on unexplored terrain."

Bloomsbury Review

"Tapscott's volume includes a rich variety of short texts--literary profiles, essays, stories for children, prose poems, biographies of religious figures, small fables extolling the romance of ordinary things, and writings on education and current events--and provides an excellent introduction to Mistral's prose. . . . [His] translations of Mistral's 'prose as tight as verse' are both lyrical and precise."

Women's Review of Books