The cosmogony of translation: Translating Yaxkin Melchy’s Los Planetas

Alice Rose Whitmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Yaxkin Melchy is a young self-published Mexican poet and founding member of the Red de los poetas salvajes [Savage poets' network], an online community of emerging poets and artists based in Mexico City. This article reflects on the process of translating Melchy's most recent book of poetry Los Planetas [The Planets], published in 2012. It concludes with a sample of four translated poems.

Melchy's work is remarkable for many reasons. Its online context allows for the inclusion of large-scale visual artwork alongside the poetry, as well as active links to videos and other media, and provides unique opportunities for reader interactivity. The poetry also possesses a significant degree of wordplay and intertextuality, combining innovative and novel language use with smatterings of scientific jargon, hypnagogic space fantasies, and a metaliterary penchant for self-reflection. The result is a bizarre and scathing critique of hypermodern society; a truly unique cosmos populated by aliens, angels, dinosaurs, poets and dictators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalReinvention: A Journal of Undergraduate Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Translation studies
  • poetry translation
  • Mexico
  • alienation
  • surrealism
  • cyberspace

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