jueves, 4 de agosto de 2016


Mary Jo Salter

Mary Jo Salter, nacida el 15 de agosto de 1954, es una poeta americana, co-editora de The Norton Anthology of Poetry y profesora en la redacción Seminarios programa en la Universidad Johns Hopkins. 



Henry Purcell in Japan , Knopf, 1985, ISBN 978-0-394-53657-6
Unfinished Painting , Knopf, 1989, ISBN 978-0-394-57417-2 , Lamont Selection for that year's most distinguished second volume of poetry
Sunday Skaters , AA Knopf, 1994, ISBN 978-0-679-43109-1 , nominated in 1994 for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Knopf)
A Kiss in Space , Knopf, 1999, ISBN 978-0-375-40531-0
Open Shutters , Alfred A. Knopf, 2003, ISBN 978-1-4000-4008-7 , named a "notable book of the year" by The New York Times
A Phone Call to the Future: New and Selected Poems [3]
Nothing by Design , Knopf, 2013, ISBN 978-0-385-34979-6


The Norton Anthology of Poetry , WW Norton, 1996, ISBN 978-0-393-96820-0 (co-editor)


The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation (WW Norton & Company, 2010)


Falling Bodies (2004)

Literatur niños 

The Moon Comes Home (1989)


The Achiever: Helen Keller by Mary Jo Salter 


1981 : The Frost Place poet in residence
1995 – 1996 : Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship
1989 : Lamont Poetry Prize for the year's most distinguished second volume of poetry - Unfinished Painting
2003 : Open Shutters named a "notable book of the year" by The New York Times
2004 : Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship

El abotonador

El Presidente Roosevelt, recorriendo la Isla Ellis
en 1906, observó a las personas de tercera clase
hacer fila para su examen médico de seis segundos.

¿No podría, se preguntó en voz alta, la manipulación sin guantes
de los extranjeros que estaban enfermos, infectar a los sanos?
Sin embargo, por años más se hizo. Imagino

a mi abuela, una niña en ese polígloto
del Gran Salón, reverberante bóveda
más terrible que la iglesia, deslumbrada por las estrellas

y franjas en la inmensa bandera al frente
por donde los benditos habían pasado. Después ella también lo hizo,
a una habitación parecida a una pequeña capilla, donde su madre
podría tomar la comunión. Un hombre con gorra azul
y un uniforme azul— ¿un doctor? ¿un policía?
(Papá lo habría sabido, pero él había navegado

solo, antes que ellos, y ahora estaba
esperando en Nueva York;  ¿que no era esto Nueva York?)—
un hombre con gorra azul alcanzó a su madre.

Sin decir una palabra (¿él no hablaba italiano?)
metió un dedo en el ojo de su madre,
luego levantó su párpado con un abotonador,

la cosa larga y curva para abrochar tus botas
cuando los botones eran muchos o muy pequeños.
No podías ser estadounidense si eras ciego

o si ibas a ser ciego. Eso sí lo entendió.
Ella iría al escuela, aprendería a leer y escribir
y le enseñaría a sus padres. El hombre de los ojos alcanzó

su cara después; ella imaginó que estaba lista.
Se sintió grande, como esa mujer en el mar
sosteniendo no un abotonador sino una antorcha.

Versión: Diana Itzel Marín Salazar

The Buttonhook

President Roosevelt, touring Ellis Island
in 1906, watched the people from steerage
line up for their six-second physical.

Might not, he wondered aloud, the ungloved handling 
of aliens who were ill infect the healthy?
Yet for years more it was done. I imagine

my grandmother, a girl in that Great Hall’s
polyglot, reverberating vault
more terrible than church, dazed by the stars

and stripes in the vast banner up in front
where the blessed ones had passed through. Then she did too,
to a room like a little chapel, where her mother 

might take Communion. A man in a blue cap
and a blue uniform—a doctor? a policeman?
(Papa would have known, but he had sailed

all alone before them and was waiting 
now in New York; yet wasn’t this New York?)—
a man in a blue cap reached for her mother. 

Without a word (didn’t he speak Italian?)  
he stuck one finger into her mother’s eye,
then turned its lid up with a buttonhook,

the long, curved thing for doing up your boots
when buttons were too many or too small.
You couldn’t be American if you were blind

or going to be blind. That much she understood.
She’d go to school, she’d learn to read and write
and teach her parents. The eye man reached to touch

her own face next; she figured she was ready.
She felt big, like that woman in the sea
holding up not a buttonhook but a torch.

Mary Jo Salter is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Nothing by Design. A frequent reviewer and essayist, she is also a lyricist whose song cycle “Rooms of Light,” with music by Fred Hersch, premiered at Lincoln Center in 2007.  Her children’s book The Moon Comes Home appeared in 1989; her play Falling Bodies premiered in 2004. She is also co-editor, with Margaret Ferguson and Jon Stallworthy, of The Norton Anthology of Poetry (4th edition, 1996; 5th edition, 2005).  

Salter became a permanent member of the Writing Seminars faculty in 2007, after 23 years of teaching at Mount Holyoke College. She is presently serving as co-chair of the department. 


Wind whistling, as it does   
in winter, and I think   
nothing of it until 

it snaps a shutter off 
her bedroom window, spins   
it over the roof and down 

to crash on the deck in back,   
like something out of Oz. 
We look up, stunned—then glad 

to be safe and have a story,   
characters in a fable   
we only half-believe. 

Look, in my surprise 
I somehow split a wall,   
the last one in the house 

we’re making of gingerbread.   
We’ll have to improvise:   
prop the two halves forward 

like an open double door   
and with a tube of icing   
cement them to the floor. 

Five days until Christmas, 
and the house cannot be closed.   
When she peers into the cold 

interior we’ve exposed,   
she half-expects to find   
three magi in the manger, 

a mother and her child.   
She half-expects to read   
on tablets of gingerbread 

a line or two of Scripture,   
as she has every morning   
inside a dated shutter 

on her Advent calendar.   
She takes it from the mantel   
and coaxes one fingertip 

under the perforation,   
as if her future hinges 
on not tearing off the flap 

under which a thumbnail picture   
by Raphael or Giorgione,   
Hans Memling or David 

of apses, niches, archways,   
cradles a smaller scene   
of a mother and her child, 

of the lidded jewel-box   
of Mary’s downcast eyes.   
Flee into Egypt, cries 

the angel of the Lord   
to Joseph in a dream, 
for Herod will seek the young 

child to destroy him. While   
she works to tile the roof   
with shingled peppermints, 

I wash my sugared hands   
and step out to the deck   
to lug the shutter in, 

a page torn from a book   
still blank for the two of us,   
a mother and her child.

“Advent” from Open Shutters (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003). Source: Open Shutters: Poems (2003)


6:48 a.m., and leaden 
    little jokes about what heroes 
   we are for getting up at this hour. 
Quiet. The surf and sandpipers running. 
T minus ten and counting, the sun 
    mounting over Canaveral 
a swollen coral, a color 
bright as camera lights. We’re blind- 
   sided by a flash: 

      shot from the unseen 
    launching pad, and so from nowhere, 
   a flame-tipped arrow—no, an airborne 
pen on fire, its ink a plume 
of smoke which, even while zooming 
    upward, stays as oddly solid 
as the braided tail of a tornado, 
and lingers there as lightning would 
   if it could steal its own thunder. 

      —Which, when it rumbles in, leaves 
    under or within it a million 
   firecrackers going off, a thrill 
of distant pops and rips in delayed 
reaction, hitting the beach in fading 
    waves as the last glint of shuttle 
receives our hands’ eye-shade salute: 
the giant point of all the fuss soon 
   smaller than a star. 

      Only now does a steady, low 
    sputter above us, a lawn mower 
   cutting a corner of the sky, 
grow audible. Look, it’s a biplane!— 
some pilot’s long-planned, funny tribute 
    to wonder’s always-dated orbit 
and the itch of afterthought. I swat 
my ankle, bitten by a sand gnat: 
   what the locals call no-see-’ums.

“Discovery” from Open Shutters (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003).  Source: Open Shutters: Poems (2003)


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