Solar Poems

Solar Poems
Translated by George McWhirter





Los Angeles Times

"The poet goes wandering between worlds — big rubble, palm trees, temples, monoliths, lost Zulu kings. . . . This is the voice of an older poet; someone who has fought for things: 'The labor of dreaming solo was / to harrow the walls and furrow the sea. I cut the traces and I broke free. . . .'"
—Susan Salter Reynolds


Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas

"Solar Poems, the first bilingual edition of a complete single volume of poems by Aridjis (originally published in 2005), continues and extends Aridjis's view of the poet as visionary and of poetry as a kind of seeing, shedding new light on ancient poetic traditions as well as aspects of contemporary life. . . . Luminous in the clarity of its language and its poetic vision, Solar Poems will dazzle the reader."
—Odile Cisnero


Pacific Rim Review of Books

"Solar Poems is a profoundly spiritual and uplifting exploration of the self and the universe around us. Aridjis' poetry examines that ever elusive search for a sense of self — both from the intensely intimate reflection on loved ones past and present, and the search for the all encompassing Tao of one's purpose and place in the greater whole."

—Apis Teicher


Indie Street Radio

"Throughout, Aridjis seamlessly blends psychological spaciness with ethereal political subversion. "
—Fenn O'Berg


MultiCultural Review

"McWhirter captures the spirit of the original Spanish. The poetic language, images, rhythm, humor, emotions, and the rich Mexican cultural segments combine to create a unique lyrical collection in English and Spanish. It is an enjoyable and inspiring book of poetry that addresses Aridjis's deep respect for nature and his hope for its preservation for future generations."  
--Alva V. Cellini


Poetry Flash

"Homero Aridjis is a profoundly ecological poet who has put his fame and time where his principles are, fighting to save the monarch butterflies that winter by the billions in the mountains of his native Michoacán, the sea turtle that lays her eggs on Caribbean beaches, and the gray whale that calves in the lagoons of Baja California. Aridjis writes to the point, with an open eye and a sense of humor . . ."--John Oliver Simon, Poetry Flash


Review: Solar Poems by Homero Aridjis translated by George McWhirter
Mar 24, 2010

"The publication by City Lights of Homero Aridjis, translated by George McWhirter is an event. This Mexican poet is not well known in English, but his work stands with that of Octavio Paz as one of the great poetries of Mexico. I read it with delight and was going to review it, but Laura took it and fell in love with it. She read it every night, a poem at the time, and said that she'd give to everyone for Christmas. Great, except she kept it with her books, and I didn’t retrieve it until I got the message below from Stacey Lewis at City Lights Books, the publisher:

'With the recent announcement that Mexico will dismantle its delegation to UNESCO--the United Nations branch dedicated to preserving cultural heritage and human rights--due to budget shortages, and daily reports of violence plaguing the country’s reputation, Homero Aridjis’s newest collection of poetry, Solar Poems, comes at a vital time.'"

- Andrei Codrescu, Exquisite Corpse

Cultural loss foreseen
Jan 24, 2010

"Mexico will cease to have permanent representation at UNESCO in Paris and will conclude its work. The office, currently directed by Homero Aridjis was created to serve as a liaison in matters of education, culture and science.

The closing of Mexico´s UNESCO office is a deplorable act, a blow against Mexican culture, its international reputation, and the leadership role it should provide for Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, the poet Homero Aridjis states.

In an interview by email, Aridjis, the Mexican Ambassador to UNESCO, analyses the impact of this decision which they have not, as yet, been notified of."

- Reforma