Spanish-English bilingual edition
Deeply admired by poets far more familiar to us, from Lorca to William Carlos Williams, the poems of Miguel Hernández (1910-42), written in the midst of the savage 20th century, beam with a gentleness of heart. Hernández was a self-educated goatherd from the tiny Spanish town of Orihuela who tried hard to be accepted among his older contemporaries. Lorca wrote to the young poet in 1933, telling him to stop struggling to get along in a ‘circle of literary pigs’.
After fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, Hernández was imprisoned in several of Franco's jails, where he continued to write until his death from untreated TB in 1942: he was only 31.
Miguel Hernández is one of the most revered poets in the Spanish-speaking world. From his early formalism, paying homage to Góngora and Quevedo, to the final poems, which are passionate and bittersweet, Hernández' work is a dazzling reminder that force can never defeat spirit, and that courage is its own reward.
'He is a great master of language…a wonderful poet' – Pablo Neruda.
'One is rarely excited by translation, but in Don Share's case 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. I have felt this with Don Share's versions of Miguel Hernández: but this is also because he is a fine poet in his own right, one who surrenders his sensibilities to the task of transference' – Derek Walcott.
Foreword by Willis Barnstone