Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth, an esteemed translator, poet, editor, and professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, has been publishing his original English and Spanish poetry since 1946. Born in Mexico City in 1926, Gonzalez-Gerth moved to the United States in 1940 and made it his permanent home. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas in 1950 and a PhD from Princeton in 1973, and taught at UT for over thirty years.
Editor David Colon has compiled a selection of Gonzalez-Gerth's poems that demonstrate the range of interests, themes, and styles that span more than a century of a life dedicated to Hispanic literature studies. The poems in this collection are arranged chronologically, exhibiting "the different phases of a poet's life as well as different historical moments and literary traditions."
Many of the poems appear with side-by-side translation, demonstrating not only the creativity born of a unique cultural perspective, but the profound understanding and commitment to the process of translation, taking a poem through its original written language, rethinking the words, allusions, connotations, and presenting it in a different language and tradition.
"He has two guiding principles as a translator of poetry: to keep the languages distinct, and to approach the act of reproduction as an art form itself. In the end, the translation must work on the terms of its own language. It is more important for it to be a successful poem than a faithful copy," writes Colon in the introduction. Between Day and Night provides a record of Gonzalez-Gerth's achievement as a poet and translator, a writer who stays true to the languages and poetic styles of Latin America and Anglo-America, and "work[s] with essentially two minds."