López Velarde, Ramón. Poems of Ramón López Velarde. Edited and translated by Mark Jacobs. ISBN: 978-1494243791 $22.95
“The essential and supreme poet of our extensive Americas.” —Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda
“López Velarde is the most admired and most carefully studied poet in Mexico . . . [He] left us a few poems . . . so perfect that it is foolish to lament those that death prevented him from writing.”—Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz
“López Velarde . . . was a wonder.” —Jorge Luis Borges
Millions of Mexicans know Ramón López Velarde as the author of Suave Patria, the national poem of Mexico, and a modernist masterpiece. But few inside or outside Mexico know the high opinion of him held by his fellow greats of Latin American poetry. López Velarde's Wikipedia entry correctly states: “Despite his importance, he remains a virtual unknown outside his own country.” As an example of how unknown, all the other major Mexican poets (and even some minor ones) are in The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, but not López Velarde. He is truly a forgotten modernist master. In 1963, Pablo Neruda published his own selection of the poems of López Velarde. The Chilean Nobel Laureate even rented rooms in a former residence of López Velarde's where Neruda "began to live in the full atmosphere of López Velarde, whose poetry began to penetrate me . . . There is no more distilled poetry than his . . . [He] gave to the poetry of the Americas a flavor and a fragrance that will last forever . . . Few poets with so few words have told us so much and so eternally of their own land . . . [His] brief pages reach, in some subtle way, the eternity of poetry."
M. W. Jacobs is a retired teacher, a student for decades of Latin American poetry, and a lover of Mexico for even longer. He is also the editor of Choicest Rock Band Names as Tiny Poems (Escallonia Press), and the author of the short story collections about Sixties San Francisco, San Fran ‘60s and More San Fran ‘60s (both Escallonia Press also).