Miguel Hernandez

Miguel Hernandez

Paperback NYRB/Poets Language: English / Spanish

By (author) Miguel Hernandez, Translated by Don Share

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  • Publisher: NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 113 pages
  • Language: English / Spanish
  • Dimensions: 109mm x 175mm x 10mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 2 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1590176294
  • ISBN 13: 9781590176290
  • Edition statement: Translation
  • Sales rank: 605,654

Product description

Miguel Hernandez is, along with Antonio Machado, Juan Ramon Jimenez, and Federico Garcia Lorca, one of the greatest Spanish poets of the twentieth century. This volume spans the whole of Hernandez's brief writing life, and includes his most celebrated poems, from the early lyrics written in traditional forms, such as the moving elegy Hernandez wrote to his friend and mentor Ramon Sije (one of the most famous elegies ever written in the Spanish language), to the spiritual eroticism of his love poems, and the heart-wrenching, luminous lines written in the trenches of war. Also included in this edition are tributes to Hernandez by Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda (interviewed by Robert Bly), Rafael Alberti, and Vicente Aleixandre. Pastoral nature, love, and war are recurring themes in Hernandez's poetry, his words a dazzling reminder that force can never defeat spirit, that courage is its own reward.

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Author information

Miguel Hernandez Gilabert (1910-1942) was born into a poor family in the city of Orihuela in southern Spain. His father raised goats and sheep, and Hernandez was brought up to be a shepherd. At age eleven, he entered the Jesuit Colegio de Santo Domingo, where he learned to read and write, and started to compose poems whose uncanny virtuosity and wild inspiration earned the admiration of Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, his poetry took on a new public dimension, and Hernandez would soon enlist in the Republican Army. In 1937, he married Josefina Manresa Marhuenda, the love of his life. The couple lost their first son to malnutrition; a second, Manuel Miguel, was born in 1939. After the defeat of the Republic, Hernandez was condemned to death for his poetry by Francisco Franco, who called him "an extremely dangerous man," a sentence that was subsequently reduced lest he become a martyr like Lorca. Hernandez, imprisoned under brutal conditions and suffering from an advanced case of tuberculosis, continued to write until his death on March 28, 1942; he was thirty-one years old. Don Share is the senior editor of "Poetry" magazine. His books of poetry include "Squandermania," "Union," and most recently, "Wishbone." He is the editor of "Seneca in English," "Bunting's Persia," and with Christian Wiman, "The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of" Poetry "Magazine." His translations of Miguel Hernandez were awarded the "Times Literary Supplement" Translation Prize and the Premio Valle Inclan.

Review quote

"In Miguel's earthy and wild poetry all the extravagances of color, of perfume, and of the voice of the Spanish Levant came together, with the exuberance and the fragrance of a powerful and virile youth." --Pablo Neruda "Miguel Hernandez sang in his deep voice and his singing was as though all the trees were singing." --Octavio Paz "In Don Share's translations of Miguel Hernandez, there is a sense of shared elation between reader and translator that confirms the delight of exact sensation when the poem feels transmitted by that cautious and subtle alchemy that is the translator's skill." --Derek Walcott "The consumate poet of light, darkness, soul, time, death." --Willis Barnstone "The apparent simplicity of his poems, which speak eloquently of love, poverty and hope, turned Hernandez into a popular figure who was elevated to cult status." --"El Pais" "Raw, passionate, despairing and celebratory." --"Publisher's Weekly" "What a victory it is to watch springing forth from our murky thicket of half-commercialized poetry the silver boar of Hernandez's words--to see the world of paper part so as to allow the language tusks and shoulders to emerge, shining, pressed forward by his genius." --Robert Bly "One of the great talents of the century." --Philip Levine, "The Kenyon Review" " A cherished example of why great poetry is timeless." --Ray Gonzalez, "Bloomsbury Review"

Flap copy

In the Spanish-speaking world, Miguel Hernandez is regarded as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century-equal in distinction to Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz. He has never received his just acclaim, however, in the English-speaking world, a victim of the artistic oppression exercised during the period of Francisco Franco's totalitarian regime. Determined to silence the writer Neruda fondly referred to as his "wonderful boy," Franco sentenced Hernandez to death, citing as his crime only that he was "poet and soldier to the mother country." Despite the fact that complete and accurate versions of his work in Spanish were difficult to obtain for nearly fifty years, Hernandez went on to achieve legendary status. Now, for the first time, Ted Genoways makes Hernandez's extraordinary oeuvre available in an authoritative bilingual edition. Featuring some of the most tender and vigorous poetry on war, death, and social injustice written in the past century, nearly half of the poems in this volume appear in English for the first time, making it the most comprehensive bilingual collection of Hernandez's work available. Arranged chronologically, "The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernandez "presents Hernandez's remarkable emotional range as well as his stylistic evolution from the Romantic shepherd poet to poet of the prison cell. Thorough annotations and introductory essays illuminate the biographical basis for many of Hernandez's poems, while a foreword by Robert Bly and a eulogistic ending piece by Octavio Paz provide a striking frame for the work of this essential poet.