ABOUT THIS BOOK
When Pedro Salinas’s 1933 collection of love poems, La voz a ti debida, was introduced to American audiences in Willis Barnstone’s 1975 English translation, it was widely regarded as the greatest sequence of love poems written by a man or a woman, in any language, in the twentieth century. Now, seventy-five years after its publication, the reputation of the poems and its multifaceted writer remains untarnished. A portrait of their era, the poems, from a writer in exile from his native civil war–torn Spain, now reemerge in our time.
In this new, facing-page bilingual edition, Barnstone has added thirty-six poems written in the form of letters from Salinas to his great love, Katherine Whitmore. Discovered years later, these poems were written during and after the composition of La voz and, though disguised as prose, have all the rhythms and sounds of lineated lyric poetry. Taken together, the poems and letters are a history, a dramatic monologue, and a crushing and inevitable ending to the story of a man consumed by his love and his art.
Bolstered by an elegant foreword by Salinas’s contemporary, the poet Jorge Guillén, and a masterly afterword by the Salinas scholar, Enric Bou, that considers the poet and his legacy for twenty-first century world poetry, Love Poems by Pedro Salinas will be cause for celebration throughout the world of verse and beyond.