Juan Gelman

Juan Gelman

in Buenos Aires, Argentina
May 03, 1930

January 14, 2014


Juan Gelman is one of the most read and influential poets in the Spanish language. He has published more than twenty books of poetry since 1956 and has been translated into fourteen languages. A political activist and critical journalist since his youth, Gelman has not only been a literary paradigm but also a moral one, within and outside of Argentina. Among his most recent awards are the National Poetry Prize (Argentina, 1997), the Juan Rulfo Prize in Latin American and Caribbean Literature (Mexico, 2000), the Pablo Neruda Prize (Chile, 2005), the Queen Sofia Prize in Ibero-American Poetry (Spain, 2005), and the Cervantes Prize (the most important award given to a Hispanic writer, Spain, 2007).

Long biographical note

Juan Gelman is the most

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More books by Juan Gelman…
“Look, words are like the air: they belong to everybody. Words are not the problem; it's the tone, the context, where those words are aimed, and in whose company they are uttered. Of course murderers and victims use the same words, but I never read the words utopia, or beauty, or tenderness in police descriptions. Do you know that the Argentinean dictatorship burnt The Little Prince ? And I think they were right to do so, not because I do not love The Little Prince , but because the book is so full of tenderness that it would harm any dictatorship.”
Juan Gelman

“هائلٌ هو الحزن الذى فى
مقدور رجل وامرأة أن يخلُقاه
فيما بينهما،
مثلما هما كبيران ذانك العصفوران
الواقفان على الغصن يتناقران
وكبيرةٌ هى الشجرة نفسها
مع أمطار تحت الشمس
باديةٍ على وجهها

ستمطر أم لن تمطر؟
سيغرّد العصفوران نفساهما؟
هل سيدوم
تدفق ذلك الحزن الهائل مثل بحيرة
أو بحرٍ بين رجل وامرأة؟

هل سيطير الحزن بين شجرة وشجرة؟
مثل خطوات وحيدة فى غرفة؟
مثل لآلىء فى الهواء؟
مثل ألواح مثل جسورٍ مدمرَّة؟

ثمة غُصَين سقط على الغصن
هائل هو الحزن الذى فى مقدور
رجل وامرأة أن يسبّباه لنفسيهما
مثلما هو هائل إبحار الغصن فى البحيرة
مبتلاً بجسارتهِ ذاتِها.”
Juan Gelman

“Nosotros arrastramos los pies en ríos de sangre seca, almas que se pegaron a la tierra por amor, no queremos otros mundos que el de la libertad y esta palabra no la palabreamos porque sabemos hace mucha muerte que se habla enamorado y no del amor, se habla claro, no de la claridad, se habla libre, no de la libertad.”
Juan Gelman, Bajo La Lluvia Ajena:


The Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced on Thursday. Who do you think will win it?

  55 votes, 29.4%

  50 votes, 26.7%

  22 votes, 11.8%

  21 votes, 11.2%

  20 votes, 10.7%

  9 votes, 4.8%

  4 votes, 2.1%

  3 votes, 1.6%

  3 votes, 1.6%

  0 votes, 0.0%


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