The Tango Lyrics

The Tango Lyrics is a translation of Andanza, the tenth book of poetry by María Negroni, whose important place in international letters has been well recognized in Argentina and abroad. Like many of her books, The Tango Lyrics drifts through intertextuality—by tapping into tango lyrics and Lunfardo slang—as it navigates personal terrain. Linguistically rich, with musicality at the forefront, the eight-line poems are shaped by the shifts and rhythms of tango.

However, “tango” is never mentioned explicitly. The book and its subject matter are like two dancers pressed together while looking away from each other. Both absent and unmistakable, tango is, above all, a linguistic atmosphere in the poems: gritty, elegant, morose, with a sort of philosophical poise.

The themes, too, draw from the tango lyric tradition, anchored, as the poem itself, in its steady and ever-elusive cornerstone: nostalgia. The poems audaciously engage this tricky emotion, and all its glorious excesses, as they explore love and loss, self and other, then and now.

The Tango Lyrics/Andanza is one of Negroni’s most personal, and meanwhile most experimental, books of poetry. It marks a significant moment in the career of a poet who always remains restless in her search for fresh language and new forms.

About The Author

Michelle Gil-Montero, translator.