Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. Translated from the Spanish by Jennifer Clement. LA SUAVE PATRIA is often regarded as the Mexican national poem, an extraordinary tour-de-force that would change forever the way that poetry would develop in Mexico. It was one of the last works by Ramón López Velarde, who died of pneumonia at the age of only 33 in 1921, and is the work for which he is most remembered today. After his death, his reputation took some time to grow, but his later espousal by major figures such as Xavier Villaurrutia and Octavio Paz has ensured that he will remain central to the story of Mexican 20th century literature. The translation offered here, by poet-novelist (and current President of PEN International), Jennifer Clement, is a remarkable achievement and brings the poem into English for a new generation of readers. The poem is contextualised in an essay by the Mexican poet, Luis Miguel Aguilar, and is embellished by a startling suite of paintings by Gustavo Monroy, from his "New Screen of the Conquest" — a 21st-century companion work to the original folding "Screen of the Conquest and View of the City of Mexico," an anonymous work from the late 17th century which measures some 2.1 meters high by 5.5 meters wide. Monroy's brutally ironic modern equivalent stands in the same museum as the original screen.
Jennifer Clement is the author of several books including the novel Prayers for the Stolen and the memoir Widow Basquiat. Her new novel, Gun Love, which was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, will be out in early 2018. Clement is the President of PEN International and lives in Mexico City.Author City: Mexico City MEX