Mapuche poetry has flourished in recent decades and is now one of the most compelling neighbourhoods of contemporary Latin American literature. Incredibly, however, much of it remains untranslated into English. Not only does this anthology correct the situation, it goes far beyond the scale of anything published before.
Some of the most important and exciting Mapuche poets are gathered here. Providing versions of each poem in Mapudungun, Spanish and English, Poetry of the Earth demonstrates how Mapuche poetry is so much more than just a collection of poems, or an act of writing. Rather, it is an expression of a long, rich and dynamic history, which at different times and places has made use of many kinds of musical, literary and linguistic forms.
As the poems are often operatic in their scope and register, the anthology as a whole is also a sophisticated ensemble of languages, cultures, critics and poets. Translations by Mapuche and Settler Chileans meet the translations of Chileans and Australians on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Then, Aboriginal, Mapuche and Settler scholars provide extremely useful introductory essays.
Poetry of the Earth is a remarkable example of Australian-Chilean resonance, and of the shared history of European colonisation of indigenous peoples around the world. This is not just an anthology of poetry from a distant land and language; it’s an illustration of a vital, trans-Pacific force.
- Stuart Cooke, Griffith University