jueves, 12 de mayo de 2016


Elaine Terranova

Elaine Terranova (nacida en 1939 en Filadelfia) es una poeta americana.

Se crió en Filadelfia, hija de Nathan y Sadie Goldstein. Permaneció en su ciudad natal completando su educación en la Universidad de Temple, donde se graduó en 1961 con una licenciatura en Inglés. Se casó con su primer marido Philip Terranova ese mismo año. Doce años después, en 1973, trabajó como editora de manuscritos para JB Lippincott & Co. Mientras trabajaba allí, asistió al Vermont Goddard College culminando en la obtención de su título de maestría en 1977. Su carrera se desplazó desde la edición hasta la educación y comenzó a enseñar Inglés creativo escrito en la Universidad de Temple hasta 1987, cuando comenzó a enseñar como un especialista en la lectura y escritura en el Community College de Filadelfia.

Desarrolló su pasión por escribir poesía y comenzó a publicar sus obras sin dejar de enseñar. Sus poemas han aparecido en varias publicaciones incluyendo The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review y Ploughshares.

Ella vive en Filadelfia.


1990 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, chosen by Rita Dove
1992 Robert Frost Fellowship in Poetry, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference
1993 “The Stand-up Shtel” took first prize in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Competition for poems on the Jewish experience.[4]
2006 Pew Fellowships in the Arts
2012 Pushcart Prize


Toward Morning/Swimmers. Chester, PA: Hollow Spring. 1980. ISBN 978-0-936198-02-6. chapbook
The Cult of the Right Hand. New York: Doubleday. 1991. ISBN 978-0-385-41812-6.
Damages. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press. 1996. ISBN 978-1-55659-105-1.
The Dog’s Heart. Alexandria, VA: Orchises. 2002. ISBN 978-0-914061-90-8.
Not to: new & selected poems. Sheep Meadow Press. 2006. ISBN 978-1-931357-32-6.
Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke’s Duino Elegies. Červená Barva Press. 2010. OCLC 752018800. chapbook
Dames Rocket. Rochester, VT: Penstroke Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0-9669177-9-6.
Dollhouse. Somerville, MA: Off the Grid Press. 2013. ISBN 978-0-9778429-6-4.


Euripides (1998). "Iphigenia in Aulis". In David R. Slavitt, Smith Palmer Bovie. Euripides: Alcestis. Daughters of Troy. The Phoenician women. Iphigenia at Aulis. Rhesus. Fred Chappell, Mark Rudman, Elaine Terranova, Richard Elman, George Economou. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1650-9.

Spanish version by Adalberto García López

El colibrí

Lo que con presagio y baile,
los gitanos parecen pasar fácilmente
entre mundos. El colibrí también

-sólo una polilla con pico-,
¿alguna vez lo he oído tararear?

Sin embargo, en todas partes es bienvenido,
seducido por flores rojas, incluso agua con azúcar,
por lo que somos deshonestos en nuestros deseos.

Y los muertos, los encarnamos
para nuestros propios intereses. No puedo hablar
con una sombra, con una abstracción.

Un devoto del sol, mi hermano,
siempre levantando su rostro hacia él.
Un contacto y el rugido del cuerpo se calmaba.

Ahora, a pesar de haber caminado por todo
el parque, él no está aquí.
Él está en ninguna parte bajo el sol.


What with foresight and dancing,
gypsies would seem to pass easily
between worlds. The hummingbird too—

only a moth with a beak—
Have I ever heard it hum?

Yet it’s everywhere welcome,
coaxed by red flowers, even sugar water,
for we are devious, in our desires.

And the dead, we embody them
for our own purposes. I can’t talk
to a shadow, to an abstraction.

A sun worshiper, my brother,
always raising his face to it.
One touch and the body roar quieted.

Now, though I walk the length
of the park, he is not there.
He is nowhere under the sun.

I want the dead but I am with
the living. The tulips raise up their hands.
The lunch crowd swallows me.


Betrothal at the Well

At a well, a maiden (na'arah)
is drawing water.  A stranger arrives.
He is footsore, weary.  The maiden,
hospitable, invites him home.
The stranger has run away, he has
been driven away, he has come to seek
his fortune.  He has come for her.
This she knows and doesn't know.
She only hopes.  It is why she is
so often at the well. The water
is her future. Her brother welcomes him,
"Come in, O blessed of the Lord,"
examines the stranger's gifts, nose ring
and bracelets, that already attach
the maiden to him.  Not surprisingly,
the stranger asks for the maiden's hand.
Maybe not for himself, maybe he
is a servant, his master has sent him.
If so she has wasted that first look
with her heart.  And he, his imagining,
his anticipation.  Could it be otherwise?
Behold: a manservant, in spite of his thirst.
A cipher, only meant to hold the place.
The covenant depends on it.

Death Came at Me

on a motorcycle
into the intersection at 50 miles per
with no helmet
arms open,
legs branching.
Ahead, I saw him, and behind
in the rearview, where he
completed the turn,
from his simple machine,
sheen of red on asphalt.

And wasn't that death, too,
halting but deliberate,
weak and in rags,
death, unmistakable,
approaching our fancy,
outdoor lunch
as my friend tapped out her troubles:
not good
no more
not again,
-which was her life-
with a teaspoon on the table.

I wouldn't look up, wouldn't give
the dollar's worth
of attention he demanded,
something to eat.  But I found him
again, later, another day, taste
of morning, steel in my mouth,
Death, advancing
at the same
ceremonial pace.


 Already, we’d be driving past
those trees, that part of the forest.
Even briefly, it refreshed you.
It was like mint in August
though that sting would be gone
with summer. The ground
tarnishing first, and soon the leaves.
I thought then, men don’t stop.
They want so much to get on.
What we said, incidental
yet hammered into the mind.
Talk like a magnet, so it draws you
together or away. We made a line
around that part of the forest,
the exact shape of our attention.
Even after, I remember
how it was taken up and moved
along with us, into the dim
living room. Each holding a glass,
ice colliding in water. A tiny
mirrored sun caught in the trees.
The same sadness that darkened
our features. Later, bed
without making love, without
the chance of a reprieve.

Return to Winter

 That day the starlings didn’t eat.
That day was a sudden return
to winter. In the fields,
snow on a base of ice.

The birds couldn’t bear
to set down except
on the clear face
of the road they remembered.

My husband leaned on the horn
the way you lean on a railing
until they lifted
before the unstoppable metal.

I pushed into the floorboard
as if I were doing the driving,
as if I could halt
the laws of physics,
while somewhere, my brother’s chest
rose and sunk and rose.

So much you take for granted,
like going to sleep in spring
that you will wake in spring.
That the blossoms were right
to push out, there was
no contradiction.

But when we hit the slick
and slammed hard against
our own forward motion,
the roadbank spun
and the orchard of stunted trees
that had just begun to soften.


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