In the Spanish-speaking world, Miguel Hernandez is regarded as one of the most important poets of the 20th 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 were difficult to obtain even in Spanish for nearly 50 years, Hernandez went on to achieve legendary status. Now, for the first time, Ted Genoways makes Hernandez's extraordinary ouevre available in an authoritative 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 closing piece by Octavio Paz provide a striking frame for the work of this essential poet.
University of Chicago Press
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