Edited by Peter Boyle


Kenna O'Rourke

“Where New York poets and others … tended to hear a ‘cool,’ abstract, even cerebral, poetry,” writes Peter Boyle in the translator’s essay accompanying this feature, “in Latin America a more emotional, threatening, and visceral ‘magic’ surrealism developed.” Boyle places Cuban poet José Kozer’s work in this surrealist camp: time and reality become warped and subjective in Kozer’s neobaroque poems. Boyle translates three poems from Kozer’s Carece de causa (“No known cause”) for this Jacket2 feature: “Retributions,” “Things near at hand,” and “Echoes.” He notes that the poems of Carece de causa mark a distinct shift in Kozer’s work, in which the writer “develops a style of poetry unlike anything I know of in North America, an approach to poetry very much his own.” 

Three poems from Carece de causa
José Kozer, trans. Peter Boyle
Things near at hand
José Kozer, trans. Peter Boyle
José Kozer, trans. Peter Boyle
Translator’s essay
José Kozer’s stylistics
Peter Boyle