Poem(a)s South-Sur

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In 1997, a bi-lingual book was published that featured the poetry of Ramón Cuelho, Silvia Cuevas, Judith Rodriguez and Jennifer Strauss. This collection was introduced by Alba Romano, a lecturer in classics from Argentina who had a position at Monash University. Her introduction expresses a powerful South theme about neighbours yet to discover each other.

The South has always looked North. From there came the foreigner who imposed his language, culture and religion. The owners of the land lost their land and their names. The peoples of the South awoke, leisurely, to their oppression and they became sovereign nations. But still they look to change orientation and to look sideways, not upwards. Australia and South America share seas, parallels, and constellations and they also share cries of indigenous peoples who claim their breathing space and the migrants who, driven by hope and necessity, try to create impossible paradises in a new country.

El sur siempre miró al norte. De allí vino el extranjero que impuso lengua, cultura y religión. Los dueños de la tierra se quedaron sin tierra y sin nombre. Los pueblos del sur despertaron más o menos perezosamente de su opresión y se constituyeron en naciones. Pero siguieron mirando al norte, para imitarlo, rechazarlo, odiarlo o quererlo. Es muy hora de cambia de orientación y de mirar al costado y no hacia arriba. Australia y Sudamérica comparten mares, paralelos y constelaciones y también comparten el clamor inmigrantes que, impulsados por esparanzas o por necesidad, trataron de crear en el nuevo país paraísos imposibles.

Poem(a)s South-Sur Melbourne: Aconcagua Publishing, 1997.

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