Defense of the Idol by Omar Cáceres, trans. Mónica de la Torre
Branded a “poète maudit” for the cryptic circumstances surrounding his life and death, Omar Cáceres once tried to destroy all copies of his one and only book. The myth around him survived thanks to the inclusion of fifteen poems from Defense of the Idol in the groundbreaking anthology Antología de poesía chilena nueva from 1935. Presented here for the first time in English translation, along with the sole foreword Vicente Huidobro ever wrote for a poet, the poems of Cáceres possess a ghostly, metaphysical energy combined with modern-age imagery: bows pulsate, moons hurtle, rains sing, trees drag their shadows in drunk stupors, winds break the sky open. But the interior life of the poet assumes dominance, interrogated through anguished, turbulent dreamscapes of language.