From the Equator
Jarrell From: Kipling, Auden & Co. (essays and reviews 1935-1964). Farrar, Straus and Giroux
New Directions Publishers, Five Young American Poets, Third Series, 1944. The poetry of Alejandro Carrión is earthy, direct, intense. He himself writes of it that it is composed under great excitement, and that its first form is its final form-once set down, it is no longer of interest to him, and he never revises. If this is literally true, it may account for a certain repetitiveness, a discursiveness, which weakens the structure of some of the poems (of Arbol, for instance, which would have gained much from a pruning away of half the antithetical couplets); but it is also the source of a freshness, an immediacy, that is as powerful as it is engaging. The zonal effects, which in Spanish are intricate and carefully calculated, can not, unhappily, be reproduced in translation; but the imagery can, and it is largely because of its imagery that this poetry deserves a hearing in our own language.