Synopses & Reviews
Rafael Guillén's poems paint vivid portraits of the land and people of his native Andalusia. In sharp-edged words tinged with a certain tender grief, Guillén presents the harshness and beauty of his country-the calm seashore and the violent revolutions, the wheat fields and the famine, the children and the laborers toiling under the oppressive Spanish sun. Behind the colorful imagery and compact language a quiet force builds as Guillén reflects on coming of age during the Spanish Civil War and on love, life, death, and faith in modern-day Granada, Paris, and the United States.
Sandy McKinney, working closely with Guillén, accurately captures the spirit and emotion of this important contemporary Spanish poet.
"[Guillén] is an extraordinary poet of the speaking, singing voice. His poems reanimate the urgent intensities of Andalusian life and portray the tragic magnificence of human determination and perseverance. Sandy McKinney has brought this great poet into passionate, lucid American English for the first time." --Reginald Gibbons, author of Sweetbitter
"A gifted poet in her own right, McKinney has given Guillén a passionate, spare, clean, lyrical English voice. Guillén has said, 'I am after what is real, specific, concrete, alive,' and McKinney has delivered it to us, undiminished in its passage into fresh, splendid English poetry."
--Robert D. Richardson, author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind
About the Author
Rafael Guillén was born in Granada, Spain, in 1933 and still calls the city his home. His many books of poetry include La configuración de lo perdido: Antología, 1957-1995, Versos del amor cumplido: Antología 1956-1985, and Los estados transparentes. He is a major "Fifties Generation" poet, and his work has been widely translated. In 1994 he was awarded Spain's National Prize for Literature for Los estados transparentes after having been a finalist for the Critics' Prize.
Table of Contents
I'm speaking -- The last gesture -- Tracings in the dust -- Poem of a sad girl -- Poem for the voice of Marilyn Monroe -- One day, with the dawn -- I hardly remember -- The final tenderness -- Spouses -- After the ball -- Introduction to mystery -- A gesture for the fifth anniversary of your death -- To be an instant -- Today Paris doesn't exist -- A bar in America -- A friend comes back -- Sent back -- Where laughter once rang out -- Not fear -- Hide-and-seek -- As if there were a man -- Oil -- Roadshow -- Mold -- Task work -- Splintering -- The front room.