is a collaboration between the Chilean poet
Vicuña & the Scottish poet Edwin Morgan. Published April
1994 as two 5-inch square pamphlets from Morning Star Folios, edited by
Finlay. One pamphlet contains the poems, bare of comment or
introduction. One set of poems is printed in color in a double-sized
fold-out at center. The second pamphlet contains excerpts from
Vicuña's letters to Finlay, plus a glossary.
These notes are derived from poems + the correspondence.
palabra = word
wurd = word
labrar = to
work wappinschaw = weapon show = muster
armas = arms
The frontspiece to the second pamphlet reads in Spanish:
Las palabras desean hablar
and in a phonetic transcription of spoken Scots:
y escucharlas es la primera labor!
Wurds wahnt tae spik!
Vicuña wrote in a letter to Finlay:
Lisn! thon’s yer furst work!
In the Mayan letters [Charles] Olson speaks of
leavings’, (what the Maya left), but in Spanish ‘sus dejos’ would be
way of speaking’, the delicate manner in which a mother speaks to her
when no one is listening, a form of being in sound…
Vicuña reports that she began seeing words as riddles containing
other words ("a question and answer at once") in 1966. The words
published here were made in London in 1974, where she was
in exile after the military coup in Chile. In these poems, words break
to reveal lies and truth.
And it is the double aspect of this ‘leaving’ that interests me, the
that it is practical (utilitarian) and transcendent (full of other
at the same time.
This is how I see our own words. Perhaps because I see Spanish from the
of view of Quechua, and vice-versa, a word for me in any language is
ans is charged with ‘hidden meanings’ as we can see…
dad ver = to give sight
Of Edwin Morgan’s
Edwin Morgan’s translations (so close to cons te
Here are two of their collaborations.
latir is the beating of the heart)
is more than a trans
it is an installation in the
language of poetry
corazón = heart
con razón = with reason
co = a nod to collaboration w/ Morgan
Pascal: The heart has its reasons
hert = heart
richt = right
ich = “I” in German
her t = a nod back to Vicuña
= permit me to give
perdón = pardon
gie = give
forgie = forgive