Translated by Alexis Levitin
ISBN: 978-1-944884-62-8 (pbk.)
Alexis Levitin’s translation of the Afro-Brazilian poet Salgado Maranhão succeeds in negotiating the quirky experimental richness of Maranhão’s Pre-Columbian, Amazonian, and Yoruba influences with his traditional rhymed lyrics and jazz-like syncopations. Levitin skillfully alerts us to the presence of a complex and offbeat poet whose work merits a wide audience.
Salgado Maranhão’s Palávora is a fierce, metaphysical testament and testimony to the power of the human spirit and the necessity for the world of the poet and poetry, “expressing a language of within / printed on a horizon of beyond…”. One of South America’s leading poets, Maranhão’s music is masterfully translated here by one of the foremost practitioners of that art in English, Alexis Levitin. Here is essential, brilliant poetry.
Brazil’s northeast is a dry and ancient land. Little visited, it has come to be known outside the country for producing some if its best writing. Alexis Levitin has given us a perfect English rendering of Salgado Maranhão’s deft expression of the tonality of this people and land.