Cosmic Canticle

Trade Paper – $21.95

ISBN 978-1-880684-93-1
Publication Date
September 2002
Page Count
490 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

Cosmic Canticle

Ernesto Cardenal

In this epic poem, Cardenal explores Latin American history by relating the evolution of the universe to the development of human understanding. Throughout, Cardenal blends the visible and the invisible, science and poetry, religion and nature, in 43 autonomous yet integrated cantos.
About the Author

The towering figure of Latin American poetry, Ernesto Cardenal was born on January 10, 1925, in Granada, Nicaragua. In 1965, he was ordained a priest. He served as Minister of Culture for the Sandinista government from 1979 to 1988. He is currently the director of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a cultural organization in Granada, Nicaragua. Cardenal is the author of more than 60 volumes of poetry, essays, and criticism.

"Ernesto Cardenal is one of the most important poets writing today. He is one of the giants, in the tradition of Neruda and Guillen." —Amiri Baraka

"This is much more than just another poet's collection of singular verse: Cardenal spent over thirty years producing this epic, which relates Latin American history to the evolution of human understanding. [These] cantos are provocative creations." —The Bookwatch

"[Ernesto Cardenal's] Cosmic Canticle arrives like songs from the darkness, questioning who we are and where we came from and keeping the tradition of the long poem alive. From its first cantiga, 'Big Bang,' in which Carndenal speculates upon our origins, to the here-and-now of later cantigas, he sees signs of hope: 'This universe repeating itself after each Big Bang / to be better each time / until it becomes the perfect cosmos.' In the last cantiga, 'Omega,' he calls out names and celebrates the relations of all humankind: 'Love is the synthesis of the universe.' This is, then, a book of faith—faith in humanity and in a creator. As the work of an ordained priest, this comes as no surprise, although Cardenal's continuing impulse to write such stunning poetry is ever a wonderful surprise." —ALA Booklist