Ernesto Cardenal, widely acknowledged as Latin America's greatest living poet, continues to craft works of striking beauty, as demonstrated in this collectionÆs title poem, an exquisite meditation on Charles DarwinÆs theory of evolution. Among the twenty new poems included here are many appearing for the first time in English, some for the first time anywhere. Cardenal has also added new cantigas, or cantos, to supplement his book-length masterpiece, Cosmic Canticle.
ôThere is order even in the foam of a torrent,ö affirms Cardenal. Evolution, natural selection, existence, and purpose figure into this complex symphony. In his characteristic blend of poetry, politics, and prayer, he grapples with elemental questions of life, delivering a thought-provoking, joyous vision of an earthly paradise in which humanity must find its role and calling.
Cardenal epitomizes what makes literature live in Central America today. ùBooklist
One of the worldÆs major poets. ùChoice
Cardenal is a major epic-histocial poet, in the grand lineage of Central American prophet RubΘn Dario. ùAllen Ginsberg
One of the most influential (and controversial) poets of his generation. ùRobert Hass
Praise for The Origin of Species and Other Poems
The crowning work in the long career of this well-known Latin American poet . . . [whose] revolutionary fire is still evident, but it's subsumed in the subjects of the poems rather than manifest[ed] in slogans. ùEd Ochester
A Whitmanic embrace and . . . a timely political resonance with a particularly difficult and broken-hearted new century. ùAnne Waldman, from the foreword