At once rhythmically charged and stilled by the silences, Paul Hoover's Poems in Spanish takes the English language into fraternity with the haunting lyricism of Spanish, and in this way pays tribute to the great poets writing in the Ibero Hispanic tradition of the 20th century-among them Pessoa, Lorca, Vallejo, Andrade, Neruda, Sabines. Poems in Spanish is a collection written in English, but it is an English that surprises with its sharply etched and yet resonant cadences. Hoover's achievement reminds us that we often must hear our own voice translated through other mediums before we can receive it most accurately, and before we can recognize most truthfully its sounding of our own deepest sensibilities. Hoover's poems include as their subjects the ethics of interpersonal relations, the social identity's conflicted relationship to self discovery, and the family bounds which function as a frame that both supports and limits our potential. Yet, just as we have come to see in Hoover's previous collections, this poet is equally interested in using subject matter's representation of event to examine what is occluded by the event of representation. These poems demonstrate how a reader can find in poetry a source of pleasure-for the ear, the heart, and imagination.
Literature-Fiction, Poetry, American,