Ana Becciú

Night Watch / Ronda de Noche (2010)


Translated by Cecilia Rossi

Night Watch stems from mystic poetry and returns to it. ‘I’ cannot live without Song, which is the absolute, in the same way as the soul cannot live without uniting with God. The way is the writing of the poem, ‘the words I drag as a load, the weight of these words I try to hear myself speak so I can see myself exist. It’s not easy now. Was it words that brought you into existence, then?’
Ana María Moix

Becciú’s ouvre is distilled, succinct, because such are the requirements of its theme. Her observations of the amorous act consist of brief notes […], more like breath than writing. The love chronicle that Becciú develops in her poems is one of migrations, of transportation (in the religious sense), of measured time, of surprising revelations that don’t allow for detailed explanations or long pages of confidences. Each amorous moment is unique, ungraspable, and hence, must be caught quickly, in speech rather than writing. Because, like Becciú herself says with impeccable clarity in Night Watch, ‘the mouth makes love, with the mouth love is said‘. Nobody knows this better than Ana Becciú.

Alberto Manguel

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ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906742-26-3 Categories: ,

Praise and Poems

This first English edition of Night Watch will win new converts to Ana Becciú’s Gnostic strain of passionate lyricism. A sensual, intricately sustained confrontation with absolute absence, this beautifully moving long prose-poem also arms us with love for the long night ahead. Steeped in a long literary tradition of painful epiphanies, this revelatory work is influenced, amongst other poets, by Saint John of the Cross. But its cascading syntax and candid expression of female desire represent, as well, a profoundly new way of approaching the mysterious relationship between body, mind and soul. Becciú’s dense word-tissue, meticulously translated here by Cecilia Rossi, intimately incorporates text and texture, the caress of the gaze and the skin of language itself.

Work published within the framework of ‘Sur’ Translation Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of the Argentine Republic.

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