Caída libre/Free Fall
By Tina Escaja
Translated by Mark Eisner
In awarding the book-length poem Caída Libre (Free Fall) the Government of the Canary Islands’ prestigious 2003 Dulce María Loynaz International Poetry Prize, the jury highlighted the “authenticity and force in the language”, reflecting the process of a pregnancy with a “hard, steeled language,” a language, though, “not incisive, but very realistic and extraordinarily beautiful.” “In a masterful form,” the poem, “passes from the plane of the intimate to that of the almost-epic, using a figure not found commonly in poetry: the chronicle of a pregnancy.” (Press notes from December 10th, 2003). But Caída Libre registers much more beyond that chronicle. Conception, delivery, and maternity unite in an epic of the derangement and celebration at the end of the millennium in New York City. And then shortly afterwards, the catastrophe of the Twin Towers with its agony and irreversible transformation of values: the fall of the West’s formulation in the previous millennium. Caída Libre is a brilliant and fundamental book to understand ourselves in our current century, in its conflicts and atrocities, but also in its soundness and revelations. The importance of its read is amplified by its Hispanic perspective and gender, and this bilingual edition opens up its accessibility. The book is currently being taught at universities around the globe, and has been included in important critical studies.
Praise for Caída libre/Free Fall
"An exceptional example of poetry in translation as artistic collaboration... Escaja works in an experimental form that is most likened to the cycle inherent in life, death, and rebirth. Even throughout the lines and stanzas, there is a stopping and starting again, a dropping off and returning... Beyond translating language, Eisner has taken on the task of translating experience. This is unabashedly a feminist text and a challenge that Eisner understood better as an opportunity. The least likely combination of writer/translator is a woman writer and a male translator."
— New Books in Poetry