Puerta del Sol
The beat and color of Madrid come to life in this collection, from late-night jazz at a café to the hum of the city’s Metro. The work inhabits a seldom-explored bicultural space.
“Puerta del Sol is a fine collection, one where the New World mingles with the Old and, in the process, is memorably transformed.” —Francisco Alarcón
“Puerta del Sol, Francisco Aragón’s first full-length book, is an intimate look at life in contemporary Spain as well as a convincing depiction of one person’s attempts to navigate the overwhelming effects of loss and violence.” —Alexandra van de Kamp, Rain Taxi
“Whether confronting terrorism on Spanish soil, memories of his late mother, or lamenting love lost, Aragón allows his images to travel from one continent to another, between English and Spanish, from hard, present tense reality to amorphous, malleable memory. Aragón’s poems are stunning little mirrors that reveal the shimmering complexity of our lives.” —Daniel A. Olivas, Latino L.A.
“The poems do not get caught up in grandiose elocutions about Spain’s architecture and history; neither do they judge or pretend to own the places they describe. Rather, Aragón draws our attention to the minute and the less expected: a moth in a spider’s web in the subway, the orange uniforms of street sweepers, a bus driver’s pastel sketches, and elderly man on a bench.” —Richard Blanco, Notre Dame Review
“Puerta del Sol is not a book of fixed identity but a book of identity in flux. Its fundamental stance is that of exile, the person who is pulled between two 'homes,' neither of which is fully 'his.' García Lorca is one of the great heroes of the book, but no one knows exactly where he has been buried: 'And no one really knows exactly/where,' writes Aragón, '—his final place (my italics.)…' Puerta del Sol is a beautiful, carefully written, deliberately, infinitely sad book; it is, in Garcías Lorca’s phrase, 'deep song' (cante jondo).” —Jack Foley, Alsolop Review