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This review is taken from PN Review 209, Volume 39 Number 3, January - February 2013.

Trembling Members enrique juncosa, Bay of Flags and Other Poems, translated by Michael Smith (Dedalus) €13.50

Enrique Juncosa, born 1961 Palma de Mallorca. Poet who writes in Spanish. Six collections: Amanecer zulú (1986); Pastoral con cebras (1990); Libro del océano (1991); Peces de colores (1996); Las espirales naranja (2002); Bahia de las banderas (2007). Day job: curator and museum director, since 2003 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin; prior to that atthe Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Valencia, and also at MNCARS in Madrid. Other works: books about Howard Hodgkin and Miquel Barceló; translations of Djuna Barnes, Smoke and Julian Barnes, Metroland.

I do not like this book. Why not?

1. I do not like the way Enrique Juncosa writes in Spanish. The personality he projects, or tries to project, or seems to be trying to project. First poem in this collection, 'Autoretrato con 38 años'; last four lines: 'Pienso a menudo en Apollinaire en Paris, / o en Frank O'Hara en Nueva York... // Sin embargo no tengo casa / más allá de los bares del mundo.' Why these mentions of Apollinaire and O'Hara in a poem designated a self-portrait? Why would it be an important fact about Juncosa that he regularly thinks about these two poets? Head to Juncosa's note on the poem: 'Guillaume Apollinaire and Frank O'Hara, French and North American, were, besides being hugely influential poets, great cognoscenti of the art of their respective periods.' Ah, and Juncosa is also an art-lover. The penny drops: the poem is Juncosa's way of saying that ...


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