Meanwhile Take My Hand2007
Kirmen Uribe has quickly become one of the best-known Basque-language writers–an important contemporary voice from a vital but largely unknown language. Meanwhile Take My Hand presents Uribe’s poetry for the first time to American readers in both the original Basque and in poet Elizabeth Macklin’s skillful and award-winning translations.
In these lyrics and narratives are the young drug addicts of Spanish coastal fishing towns, the paved-over rivers of newly urbanized medieval cities, the remains of loving relationships, whether entirely uprooted or making do with a companionable silence. The Basque phrase Bitartean heldu eskutik, which became the book’s title—Meanwhile Take My Hand–Uribe has said, is “what you say when there’s nothing at all you can say.”
Spain’s Critics Award
“The poems are a beacon of light and memory, surrounded by conflict, explosion and interruption.”
“Unusually wise for a young man.”
“[Uribe’s] lyricist’s sensibility teaches him to write poems as lucid and lilting as songs.”
“These poems are lyrical and spoken, speaking of love and family, of legend and of war, of dangerous friends and the dangerous world. They weep out of the particular with wisdom and feeling.”