The Immense Hour

A selection of poems by Iacyr Anderson Freitas, translated by Désirée Jung

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Thanks to the work of translator and writer Desirée Jung, English readers have now access to the poetic works by the contemporary Brazilian writer Iacyr Anderson Freitas. The writer Alexei Bueno affirms, in his book Uma História da Poesia Brasileira (A History of Brazilian Poetry): “Out of the great poets of his generation, Iacyr Anderson Freitas (1963), since his launch in Verso e Palavra (Verse and Word), from 1982, has built a poetic work with notable coherence that attempts to understand the world deeply – a quality often present in the majority of great poems. From free verse to fixed forms like the sonnet, his poetry gives us an acute perception of the ephemeral and imponderable on which all human illusions are constructed.”

Entirely reviewed by Iacyr Anderson Freitas himself, this anthology includes many of his better known and publicized poems. In the introduction, the translator Désirée Jung writes: “Another aspect I want to highlight is how these poems exist within a conscientiousness that surpasses linear logic. Such quality allows the reader to experience events in their overwhelming radicalness, as though holding lightning into one’s fingers; or possessing an understanding from all senses which is ephemerous and brutal but faded to submerge just as quickly into their initial murky waters. Lastly, as Heraclitus reminds us of how one cannot enter the same river twice – or save the heritage (readers of poetry) apparently lost from the waters, these verses are keys to revisit and rediscover existence’s enigmas. Iacyr’s gift as a poet is to reintroduce and at the same time ignore the game of madness and sanity brought to us up by time alone.”