Poetry: Walt Whitman by Francisco Aragón
Francisco Aragón’s Glow of Our Sweat (Scapegoat Press) is a collection of poems characterized by a sense of quietude and interpretive space. This space allows the reader to experience Aragón’s personal memories in an intimate way through a connection of thought and imagination. Writer Michael Nava said reading Francisco Aragón’s poetry was like “taking a bite of a perfectly ripened apple—a fresh, sensual…experience.”
“Walt Whitman”—featured below—traces its roots back to Nicaraguan poet and essayist Rubén Darío. In the poem, Aragón pays tribute to Darío’s combinatorial style–a poetic conversation blending the syntax and word choice of two different worlds, nested inside classicist formal structures. Through careful structural and linguistic choices, Aragón creates expansive images with simple language. The author uses long, Whitmanesque lines to loosen Darío’s tight form. The poem effectively rests in the space between the three writers (Whitman, Darío, and Aragón), but preserves the souls of each, united in an inspired conversation.
“Walt Whitman” and “Words in Space” from Glow of Our Sweat by Francisco Aragón, copyright (c) 2010 by Francisco Aragón. Used by permission from Francisco Aragón.
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