Multcolib Picks: Bilingual Spanish to English Poetry List
Annotation:My favorite book in this list - maybe in the world! Similar to Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Captain’s Verses is a collection of love poems dedicated to Neruda’s lover, Matilde. It’s impossible for me to describe the beauty and craft in which this book was written. So, you’ll just have to read it! Here’s a teaser: “Take bread away from me, if you wish, / take air away, but / do not take from me your laughter.” (p.17)
Annotation:A master of poetry! This is a great introduction to Lorca if you have not yet read him because the poems are exquisitely written and the book itself is small and can be read quickly (or in my case, a few times over and over). After you read this collection, try his collection Poet in New York.
Annotation:Bolaño is, perhaps, more well known for his fiction than his poetry, but he started as a poet and it was not until he needed to earn a living that he started writing novels. Much of his poetry has yet to be published and translated into one book. The Romantic Dogs, so far, is my favorite! Just read the first two poems and you’ll be hooked! For those of you more daring with an eye for post-modern poetry try his other collection of poetry, Tres.
Annotation:Those who are familiar with the 1990 Poet Laureate, know one can find endless volumes of his poetry. This particular copy is a delightful quick read for those who get lost in volumes or put off reading heavy [poetry] books. Here’s a glimpse: “I draw these letters / As the day draws its images / And blows over them / And does not return.” (p.11)
Annotation:Thought to be some of Darío’s best work and one of the first editions to be translated and published into English. Written over the course of seven years and in many locales in Latin America and Europe, the poems in Songs of Life and Hope reflect both Darío's anguished sense of modern life and his ecstatic visions of transcendence, freedom, and the transformative power of art.
Annotation:This special collection is not a bilingual book, but rather a hybrid of Spanish and English, more commonly known as Spanglish. This collection of poetry is phenomenal! I had to include it. The author is a 2011 recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets award - the first Latino poet to win this award. Part of the publisher’s description “Seamlessly braiding English and Spanish, Corral's poems hurtle across literary and linguistic borders toward a lyricism that slows down experience.”
Annotation:“Vallejo's poetry takes the Spanish language to an unprecedented level of emotional rawness and stretches its grammatical possibilities. Striking against theology with the very rhetoric of the Christian faith, Vallejo's is a tragic vision--perhaps the only one in the canon of Spanish-language literature--in which salvation and sin are one and the same. This edition includes notes on the translation and a fascinating translation memoir that traces Eshleman's long relationship with Vallejo's poetry. An introduction and chronology provide further insights into Vallejo's life and work.” - from the publisher.
Annotation:This particular anthology is great if you want to review a sampling of Latin American poetry expertly translated into English. Included in this grand collection are authors such as Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, Jaime Sabines as well as other excellent and lesser-known Latin American poets. Includes poetry originally written in Portuguese and other indigenous languages from Latin America.
Annotation:Similar to the above anthology this is a great collection of poetry from Latin-American authors, however, the difference being this edition includes poetry from the 19th century as well as the 20th century, making this collection a bit more extensive. Make sure to check out Pablo de Rohka, Blanca Varela, Bartolome Hidalgo and Rosa Araneda.
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This bilingual, multicultural list is multifunctional - serving both poetry lovers and people learning to speak Spanish. All the titles listed (except for one special collection) display the poems with their translations side by side. Read Neruda in his native language or enjoy the expertise translations into English. These are win-win collections!