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Generous Journeys/Travesias generosas.

Although Marjorie Agosin is known as a tireless worker for human rights who is all too familiar with the brutal side of life, Generous Journeys is a joyous celebration of the earth's goodness, in particular, of the bounty of the Americas. Each poem is dedicated to one of the agricultural products that the New World gave to the Old--potatoes, peanuts, wild strawberries, chocolate, and many others. Each is accompanied by a gorgeous color illustration by Emma Sepulveda-Pulvirenti. Pictures and poems combine to make this book a veritable banquet for the senses. Cola Franzen's translations capture wonderfully the exuberance of Agosin's poetry, making the collection a pleasure to read in two languages.

Agosin's highly sensuous poems exalt the sumptuous beauty of American vegetation. She evokes the perfume, texture, and visual appeal of her luscious subjects, as well as their flavor. In "Feijoa / Guava" devouring a fruit becomes an erotic experience: "I recognize you/by your fragrance,/ your fruit opens, quivers/ in your interior of lilacs and yellows/ that blossom/ when my mouth strips you to be/ one with your flesh,/ confound it with mine ..." But even in the midst of this delightful orgy, Agosin never loses sight completely of the pain and abuse that went hand-in-hand with the colonization. The guava brings to mind "songs of a nascent Africa," which, in turn, remind her of the slave trade and "men bought/ for a handful of loose coins."
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Mujica, Barbara
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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