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Book Review
By
Jose B. Gonzalez

 

Aguacamino / Waterpath by Rossy Evelin Lima, Mouthfeel Press

 

Aguacamino / Waterpath is one of those bilingual poetry collections that makes words shine in a way that makes readers take a reflective sigh. Rossy Evelin Lima's work, translated by Gerald Padilla, is an ode to nature as it provides contemplation on our relationship with such aspects as flowers, rivers, butterflies and the rain, all the while reminding readers or our interconnectedness.
 

Poems such as "Many Islands" capture the role that nature plays in our human existence:
We are many islands,

the sea and the sun

darken and lighten our feet

the words wash our limbs. (1-4)

Yet Lima is careful not to romanticize the relationship, acknowledging that "we used to be one piece of land" (23), but at the same time offering us optimism, "we hope for the wind to lift us \ and have only one name" (34-35). She approaches each poems with complex but enlightening thought, and that is the true strength of this collection. Likewise, the translations capture this essence.

 

Padilla is careful to capture a rhythmic beat in the poems such as in "Immigrant City" / "La ciudad del inmigrante": "Eres fria, no nos has ofrecida agua \ desde que llegamos \ vamos sobreviviendo de escondidas" (35-37) is the translation for the lines "You are cold, you haven't offered us water \ since we arrived, \ we are surviving in secret" (35-37). The word choices reflect an understanding of balancing literal and poetic meaning and assonance in the Spanish. As a result, this collection is equally musical in both languages.


Lima is no stranger to poetry, and this collection reflects her lyrical mastery. The words in Aguacamino / Waterpath trickle naturally and powerfully. It's not easy to create a socially conscious work with such strong emotional appeal, but this collection succeeds in doing so. Like the subject of its poetry, it crosses borders fluidly, carefully, and powerfully.
 

Jose B. Gonzalez is the author of the poetry collection, Toys Made of Rock and is the editor of LatinoStories.Com.


 



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