The Blood That Keeps Singing/La Sangre que Sigue Canta

Trade Paper – $14.95

ISBN 978-0-915306-78-7
Publication Date
July 1995
Page Count
123 pages
Trim Size
5.4 x 8.6

The Blood That Keeps Singing/La Sangre que Sigue Canta

Clemente Soto Vélez

This is the first collection in English translation of poems by the 86-year old dean of Puerto Rican poets, Clemente Soto Vélez.  These are poems that explore such topics as liberation, solitude, and the 'promised land'— Soto Velez approaches these themes with a firm and precise hand— his explorations are at once intensely personal and universally applicable.  In this bilingual book which offers a selection of his poetry drawn from Soto Velez's published works dating back to 1937, we are given the scope of the poet's life, his struggles and accomplishments. 
About the Author

Clemente Soto Vélez was the author of Escalio (1937), Abrazo interno (1954), Caballo de palo (1959), La tierra prometida (979), Obra poetica (1989) and other works. He co-founded the surrealist movement "La Atalaya de los Dioses," which deeply influenced Puerto Rican literature. After his imprisonment from 1936 to 1942 for his leadership role in the Puerto Rican independence movement, he settled in New York where he emerged as a major figure in the Puerto Rican literary community of that city. He died in Puerto Rico in 1993.

Martín Espada is the recipient of an American Book Award for Imagine the Angels of Bread which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among his other honors are the PEN/Revson Fellowship and the Paterson Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The Nation. and The Best American Poetry. A former tenant lawyer, her is currently a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Camilo Pérez-Bustillo is a translator, activist, and fellow at the University of Texas El Paso working in defense of human rights at the U.S.-Mexico border. 


"One message is clear in these poems; we are made of communal energy, which is dynamic and liberating.  Living as energy, as these poems live, one wave creating the next, allows us to recognize ourselves in a universe to which we feel our belonging.  These poems are enormous in their statement, they provoke in us our capacity to say 'no,'—to subvert and refuse within ourselves the repressive word, the law of despair and poverty, which requires our agreement." — Dale Jacobson

"This is an astonishing collection of poems whose imagery is rife with violent surprises and notable self-contradictions. Comparison to Huidobro, Vallejo, or Octavio Paz is apt, but Vélez's fabulous juxtapositions find a real affinity with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude . He works in the realm of pure poetry, often at a cosmic level derived from surrealism, but as one reads these marvelous pieces, it is apparent that a social and political compassion contributes largely to their intelligence: "Those trees/that anxiously await/ the celebrated birth/of the girls/ who deeply hopes/ to be born enlightened/ to exhume/ eternity/that arrives at the moment/ of its own burial." Clearly, this is the work of a major poet who deserves a collection much bigger than this one. Younger poets working the Latino ethnic mines would do well to study Vélez. This is highly recommended." — Ivan Arguelles, University of California at Berkeley Library

"In Clemente Solo Vélez, we have a radical subjectivity that throughout his long and fruitful life has bet on poetry and art as the power of love and the necessity of liberty." — Elizam Escobar