El acantilado

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El acantilado y otros poemas, by Robert Edward Gurney, Llyfrau Cambria Books, Wales, 2017, prólogo y selección de Andrés Bohoslavsky. ISBN 978-0-9954608-3-6. In press.

Kindle e-book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MQWWQQN

Portada / Cover: El naufragio de la Helvetia / The Wreck of the Helvetia, William Robert Gurney

El acantilado

Me tentaba dedicar el poema
‘Port Eynon desde el espacio’
a Dylan Thomas
pero pienso que no sería del todo correcto.

Quisiera preguntarle
si vio lo hermoso que es Gower
desde el cielo.

Luego recordé que a Dylan le gustaba
revolcarse en el presente,
en el pasto bajo el acantilado
con Polly Garter.

No creo que esté allí,
el allí de los que creen en el cielo religioso,
con Vicente Huidobro.

Pasaba más tiempo aquí abajo,
caminando a orillas del río
que movía el molino de su tío
en Kingsbridge-Pontybrennin.

Prologue (Translated)

This small book by Robert Edward Gurney, consisting of twelve poems, is a tribute to the memory of the writer Dylan Thomas.

Turning its pages, you will find the man, the poet and his context: places, people, objects. The author’s vision, which provides the reader with a way of seeing that revisits everything, offers a new prism that reveals new forms, new colours, new words, where they were not thought to exist.

The value of Gurney’s poems published here lies in that: to find that which no one had seen, despite having had it in front of his or her eyes all the time. The poetic, eternal and infinite word returns to the beach where Dylan dipped his feet and where today your spirit will, without doubt, come away refreshed.

Andrés Bohoslavsky, Argentina, December 2016.


Este pequeño libro de Robert Edward Gurney, compuesto por doce poemas, es un tributo a la memoria del escritor Dylan Thomas.

Al recorrer sus hojas encontrarás al hombre, al poeta y su contexto: los lugares, la gente, los objetos. La visión del autor, quien pone a disposición del lector una mirada que revista todo, permitirá que este nuevo prisma refleje formas nuevas, colores nuevos, palabras nuevas, donde no se pensaba que las había.

El valor de estos poemas de Gurney consiste en eso: encontrar aquello que nadie había visto, pese a tenerlo delante de sus ojos todo el tiempo. La palabra poética, eterna e infinita vuelve a la playa en la que Dylan bañaba sus pies y donde hoy seguramente mojarás tu corazón.


Graciela Maturo, 2017

Ya he leído – en una primera lectura, rápida – los poemas de este breve libro. Son muy bellos, con una belleza austera, que adopta la forma de breves anotaciones narrativas, de momentos y fogonazos estremecedores. Es un cálido homenaje a Dylan Thomas con quien compartes recuerdos y lugares. Manejas muy bien el español, en su versión argentina, en poemas de sabor muy inglés y galés.

Estas son mis primeras impresiones. Lo seguiré leyendo.

La foto es hermosa, y también lo es la noticia biográfica. Comparto esta lectura con mi amigo Diego Zeziola, traductor de Cortázar al inglés.

Estoy muy agradecida, querido Bob.

Un gran abrazo, Grace

I have read them – At a first, quick reading – the poems of this short book. They are very beautiful, with an austere beauty, that takes the form of brief narrative annotations, of haunting moments and flashes. It is a warm tribute to Dylan Thomas with whom you share memories and places. You handle very well Spanish very well, in its Argentine version, in poems of a very English and Welsh favour.

These are my first impressions. I’ll keep reading.

The photo is beautiful, and so is the biographical note. I am sharing this reading with my friend Diego Zeziola, Cortázar’s translator into English.

Graciela Maturo

Graciela Maturo is an Argentinean writer, poet, Americanist and retired Professor. She founded the Alétheia Centre for Poetic Studies, and is an Honorary Member of the Centre for Philosophical Studies “Eugenio Pucciarelli” at the National Academy of Sciences of Buenos Aires. She was taught by Juan Larrea. She is currently preparing a book on Surrealism. Email, Buenos Aires, 29  January 2017.


Alejandro Gónzález Foerster: 2016

First and foremost, I want to tell you that all the poems seem beautiful to me, from those that are intimate and endearing, to others that, to me, are fascinating. It’s a beautiful book, and I loved reading and re-reading it.

Antes que nada quiero decirte que todos los poemas me parecen hermosos, desde algunos íntimos y entrañables hasta otros que me resultan fascinantes. Es un precioso libro, y me ha encantado leerlo y releerlo.

Alejandro Gónzález Foerster, escritor argentino, mail, 6 de diciembre, 2016, Embalse, Argentina.

The Title

(Poemas escogidos por el poeta argentino Andrés Bohoslavsky).

Él explica: La palabra “acantilado” tiene mucha fuerza visual y su imagen es fuerte, muy fuerte.
Quien alguna ves estuvo en un “acantilado”, no creo que se olvide jamás.
En la fotito de mi libro, estoy en un acantilado…

Por otro lado o mejor dicho, en primer término, es un poema muy bueno…
un abrazo

The word “cliff” has great visual force and the image is strong, very strong.
Whoever has stood on a “cliff”, I don’t think he will ever forget it.
In the little photo in my [latest] book, I am on a cliff …

On the other hand, or rather, first and foremost, it [the poem ‘El acantilado’] is a very good poem …

* Bohoslavsky, A., La camarera que se creía Greta Garbo y el plomero que soñaba ser Lenin y otros poemas, La carta de Oliver / serie cuadernos, editor Santiago Espel, Buenos Aires, 2016. ISBN 9789873825064.

5.0 out of 5 starsEl acantilado by Robert Edward Gurney is a paean to his favourite author, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, December 27, 2016
By Ryan Marshall, New York
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This review is from: EL ACANTILADO Y OTROS POEMAS (Kindle Edition)
This ultra slim volume of poetry by Robert Edward Gurney is a paean to his favorite author, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. That Robert Edward Gurney is a huge Dylan Thomas follower is palpable in every line of every verse in this poetry collection in Spanish, which is notable as Gurney is perhaps the only contemporary English author of note who has devoted his poetry to anything Dylan Thomas. The verses are easy to read and to understand even for an elementary student of the Spanish language. Gurney succeeds in breathing new life to Dylan Thomas through an entirely different prism, imagining the tragic life of the Welsh poet in the mundane world of villagers in neighborhoods where Thomas breathed the same air a long time ago.

In “Espera,” which is the opening poem of this volume, he turns the humdrum and sterile surrounding of a hospital waiting room into a powerful imagery of the foibles of men, the hypocrisy of organized religion (with his reference to the apparent suicide of “God’s banker” in London amid a Vatican financial scandal) and the danger artists face for speaking truth to power (i.e., the assassination of a Colombian poet and writer).

In “El Calabozo de Shenley,” the poet espies the shadows of Thomas and of other dead people freely and playfully coming and going as they please. The author feels trapped; his Art all of a sudden becomes a Calvary, a “form of punishment.” He longs to pursue his poetic calling just as freely as the spirits of Thomas and others he envisions in his head. But it dawns on him that he can never have full freedom as an artist as long as he has to work to earn a living. As he walks past a fashionable house in “Casa de Moda,” Gurney finds it strange to think that Thomas would have traversed the same path by the river, surrounded by insipid pubs and taverns. He notices even “los cuervos (the crows)” inhabiting the rooftop of a pub where he imagines Thomas to have observed the same creatures in his days. He also tells of people seeing the ghost of Thomas with his head floating behind a mirror in The White Horse Tavern In New York or at the foot of a bed in a room in Chelsea Hotel, where Thomas died.

Gurney as an English poet writing in Spanish is without peer. His poetry has interior rhythm and does not shy away from appropriating local colors and unadorned language to express itself. He has a way of telling a story in vivid imagery, exercising utmost economy in words: always succinct and yet pregnant with all kinds of meaningful possibilities that could be bounded only by the reader’s own imagination or lack thereof. This book is highly recommended.

Ryan Marshall, New York