A book of cosmological surrealism in the tradition of Octavio Paz, Solar Poems is the first English translation of a single volume of poems by Mexico’s famed poet-diplomat Homero Aridjis, exploring political consciousness as well as visionary psychological themes. President emeritus of International PEN, the prolific poet is Mexico’s ambassador to UNESCO. Poemas solares (Solar Poems) was published in 2005.
Translator George McWhirter won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Catalan Poems, the F.R. Scott Prize for Selected Poems of José Emilio Pacheco, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for his novel Cage. He is Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate.
"Homero Aridjis is a profoundly ecological poet who has put his fame and time where his principles are, fighting to save the monarch butterflies that winter by the billions in the mountains of his native Michoacán, the sea turtle that lays her eggs on Caribbean beaches, and the gray whale that calves in the lagoons of Baja California. Aridjis writes to the point, with an open eye and a sense of humor . . . "—John Oliver Simon, Poetry Flash
"Homero Aridjis's poems open a door into the light."—Seamus Heaney
"A visionary poet of lyrical bliss, crystalline concentrations and infinite spaces."—Kenneth Rexroth
"In the poetry of Homero Ardjis there is the gaze, the pulse of the poet . . . the discontinuous time of practical and rational life and the continuity of desire and death; there is the poet's personal truth."—Octavio Paz
"Homero Aridjis is a grand traveler through the continent of poetry."—Henri Michaux
"A great flame passes through the words, the poetry of Homero Aridjis, who sets reality alight in images that at once illuminate and consume it, making life a sister of dream. Homero is a great poet; our century has great need of him."—Yves Bonnefoy
"The poetry of the distinguished Mexican poet and environmentalist, Homero Aridjis, in his new collection, Poemas Solares/Solar Poems, constantly serves up an exhilarating feast of wonderfully evocative images and metaphors that are also daring, cutting edge, full of surprises, often irreverent, historical, but sensual—even erotic—as in this passage from 'The sacred couple': 'For some time now, I have been into dreaming about volcanoes./ In particular, the Valley of Mexico's sacred couple./ He, with the white head and scratched eye; she, with the snowy crater and breasts erect.' Aridjis's poetry is full of love and a profound wonder for all of the universe and its inhabitants—humans, animals, the earth, the seas, the sky and the sun and moon. Poemas Solares/Solar Poems is a beautiful and necessary collection of poems by a wise poet at the peak of his powers."—Quincy Troupe, author of The Architecture of Language, Miles and Me and co-author with Miles Davis of Miles: The Autobiography
"The poet goes wandering between worlds—big rubble, palm trees, temples, monoliths, lost Zulu kings. . . . This is the voice of an older poet; someone who has fought for things: 'The labor of dreaming solo was / to harrow the walls and furrow the sea. I cut the traces and I broke free. . . .'"—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Time
"Solar Poems, the first bilingual edition of a complete single volume of poems by Aridjis (originally published in 2005), continues and extends Aridjis's view of the poet as visionary and of poetry as a kind of seeing, shedding new light on ancient poetic traditions as well as aspects of contemporary life. . . . Luminous in the clarity of its language and its poetic vision, Solar Poems will dazzle the reader."—Odile Cisnero, Literature and Arts of the Americas
"Solar Poems is a profoundly spiritual and uplifting exploration of the self and the universe around us. Aridjis's poetry examines that ever elusive search for a sense of self—both from the intensely intimate reflection on loved ones past and present, and the search for the all encompassing Tao of one's purpose and place in the greater whole."—Apis Teicher, Pacific Rim Review of Books
"Throughout, Aridjis seamlessly blends psychological spaciness with ethereal political subversion."—Fenn O'Berg, Indie Street Radio
"McWhirter captures the spirit of the original Spanish. The poetic language, images, rhythm, humor, emotions, and the rich Mexican cultural segments combine to create a unique lyrical collection in English and Spanish. It is an enjoyable and inspiring book of poetry that addresses Aridjis's deep respect for nature and his hope for its preservation for future generations."—Alva V. Cellini, MultiCultural Review