Gazing on the Seine from an apartment

near the Pont Neuf

               opposite the Hôtel des Monnaies

     he thinks of the Orinoco

thronged with caimans

that thrashed about unsociably

          small sailboats heading

                    slowly up the river

the pre-dawn rain

before the swallows skim the water

flocks of brightly colored parrots

chased by little sparrowhawks

       the night full of meteors

       and phosphorescent stars     

A world he’d hankered for since childhood

and already old now yearned to see again

from Humboldt, translation © Roger Hickin 2014

Cold Hub Press ~ Ernesto Cardenal

3 Poems

Nostalgia for Venice


The third chimpanzee

Ernesto Cardenal

with translations from the Spanish by Roger Hickin

ISBN: 978-0-473-28536-4

Softcover chapbook, 48 pp, 210 x 145mm

One of the most influential and controversial poets of his generation, Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal (b. 1925) is widely acknowledged as the greatest living poet of Latin America. Poet, priest, polemicist, liberation theologian, founder of the Solentiname primitivist art community, Nicaraguan Minister of Culture in the first Sandinista Government, 1979–87, Cardenal, in poetry which is both epic and lyrical, presents a vision of the social, political, historical and natural worlds of Latin America. In the three recent and previously untranslated poems in this volume Cardenal writes about Venice, ageing and nostalgia; gives a vivid account of the elderly Alexander von Humboldt as he recalls his explorations in Venezuela and his encounters with Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson; and considers the history of human evolution.

Roger Hickin is a New Zealand poet, translator and visual artist.