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Poet Alicia Partnoy

» download the poem in English (mp3, 0:49)

» download the poem in Spanish (mp3, 0:40)

For next week’s program — tentatively titled “Laying the Dead to Rest: Meeting Forensic Anthropologist Mercedes Doretti” — we are weaving in the poetry of one of the people who disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War, Alicia Partnoy. What’s even better, she graciously accepted our invitation to read four of her poems, in English and in Spanish.

Here is the first set of poems I could bounce and encode for you to hear before we air the program. I’ll be putting up the other ones in the coming days. Please note that what you’ll hear above will be markedly different from the versions included in the program. These are the poems as she recorded them — a straightforward, passionate reading.

But, when we produce them for the program, we take a different approach. We want to immerse you in the moment, give you space to reflect and breathe in the words of the poem as well as the import of Doretti’s experiences. Mitch might give an extra second at the end of a line of verse, volume graph certain words or lines, or bed the poems with music.

If you’d like, I’d be glad to post those more highly produced versions in addition to the ones I’m posting today and through the weekend. Let me know what you think. Personally, I still marvel at the difference — for the better or the worse sometimes. I can’t wait to hear them in the context of the final show.

In the meantime, I hope you’re as moved as I am by these lovely points of light and darkness.


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5 Comments

Beautiful stuff Trent - there's something very present about the sound of these words - makes me wish I spoke Spanish to get the feeling and meaning of the words in their original fluency. I'll be interested to compare the version you have up here with the version used on the programme.
I've just finished reading Nathan Englander's "The Ministry of Special Cases" which is about the Jewish Community in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War, and which has a narrative of the Disappeared...so this poem is evoking memories of the book...There are depths and scopes of beauty that are mentioned in the poem that are hard-won, and the road to such discoveries is surely unenviable. Alicia Partnoy's name will go onto the evolving list of SoF-recommends. As always - cheers, Pádraig.

Please make sure you properly identify and credit the translator.

J. Kates, president
American Literary Translators Association

Krista, I'm looking for the poem I heard this morning on your show--I thought it was so powerful--the poet
was talking about holding the microphone and how it gave her her voice. Will you post that one?

i can't tell you how many times i've listened to "homespun love" since you posted it.

exquisite, and read with such passion.

i think i have a new favourite poem.

thanks. :)

It's a wonderful poem, isn't it?! And I so absolutely smitten with the passion with which she reads her poems. So refreshing and alive.