PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This review is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Cover of Nothing is Lost: Selected Poems</i>, trans. Lawrence Schimel
Ian SeedBelieving in the invisible

Jordi Doce, Nothing is Lost: Selected Poems, trans. Lawrence Schimel (Shearsman);
Ron Winkler, Fragmented Waters, trans. Jake Schneider (Shearsman)
Jordi Doce’s Nothing is Lost brings together poems selected from six collections published in Spanish between 1990 and 2011. This is the first translation in book form of Doce’s work into English, and Lawrence Schimel has done such a good job that for the most part readers will forget they are reading poems that were written in another language. It should also be pointed out that the spirit of Doce’s poems is perhaps as much English as anything else. In his ‘Author’s Note’, Jordi states that many of these poems were written during his stay in England from 1991 to 2000, and acknowledges a debt to English poetry, which he has studied and translated. Although they are ‘determinedly rooted in the Spanish literary tradition’, he goes onto say that ‘poetry is born in part out of a contrary dialogue with one’s own heritage, and English literature has given me a much-needed vantage point from which to examine and re-evaluate my own Spanish tradition’ (p. 115).

Doce’s work is threaded through with the kind of agnostic faith that the theologian Paul Tillich described as ‘ultimate concern’. In a manner reminiscent of different figures such as Blake, Rilke and Eliot, Doce seeks to penetrate to the heart of the meaning of our existence. Ever present is a sense of astonishment, as, for example, in ‘Succession’ (p. 45), a prose poem dedicated to his daughter, Paula:

Is birth the victory? Victory over what? From the faithful certainty of your body, my question watches you questioning me. ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image