Starry Night

Starry Night

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Author: Marjorie Agosín

Translator: Mary G. Berg

Publisher: White Pine Press (1996)

Agosín’s Starry Night poems are told from the perspective of Vincent van Gogh during the artistically productive yet troubled period he spent in the South of France near the end of his life. The poems imagine the artist as sleepless, in love, often reflective and rambling and always ecstatic about color and scene. They also show wild shifts in mood: the lines “happiness/ making paths through the sprouting fields” and “I, too, was/ spun off course, into dark solitude” appear in different poems on facing pages (94-95). Agosin’s language mirrors the vivid color and twisting lines of Van Gogh’s art, while her rhythms and line breaks reflect the painter’s sometimes lucid and sometimes frenzied state of mind. Mary G. Berg preserves this style in her English translation from the original Spanish.

Winner of the Letras de Oro Prize