Multcolib Picks: Bilingual Spanish to English Poetry List

The captain's verses
The captain's verses Los versos del Capitán : the love poems By Neruda, Pablo Book - 2004 Spanish 861.6 N454cv 2004 Available in some locations

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)

Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems
Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems By García Lorca, Federico Book - 1988 861.6 G216o Available in some locations

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.

The Romantic Dogs
The Romantic Dogs 1980-1998 By Bolaño, Roberto Book - 2008 861.64 B687r 2008 All copies in use Availability details

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.

A Draft of Shadows, and Other Poems
A Draft of Shadows, and Other Poems By Paz, Octavio Book - 1979 861 P34d Available in some locations

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)

Songs of Life and Hope
Songs of Life and Hope Cantos De Vida Y Esperanza By Darío, Rubén Book - 2004 861 D21sL 2004 Available in some locations

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.

Slow Lightning
Slow Lightning Poems By Corral, Eduardo C. Book - 2012 811.6 C823s 2012 All copies in use Availability details

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.”

The Complete Poetry
The Complete Poetry A Bilingual Edition By Vallejo, César Book - 2007 861 V18cp 2007 Available in some locations

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.

The FSG Book of Twentieth-century Latin American Poetry
The FSG Book of Twentieth-century Latin American Poetry An Anthology Book - 2011 861.608098 F9489 2011 All copies in use Availability details

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.

The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry
The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry A Bilingual Anthology Book - 2009 861.008 O982 2009 Available in some locations

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!

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