by Miguel Hernández, selected and translated by Don Share
Miguel Hernández is, along with Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Federico García Lorca, one of the greatest Spanish poets of the twentieth century. This volume spans the whole of Hernández’s brief writing life, and includes his most celebrated poems, from the early lyrics written in traditional forms, such as the moving elegy Hernández wrote to his friend and mentor Ramon Sijé (one of the most famous elegies ever written in the Spanish language), to the spiritual eroticism of his love poems, and the heart-wrenching, luminous lines written in the trenches of war. Also included in this edition are tributes to Hernández by Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda (interviewed by Robert Bly), Rafael Alberti, and Vicente Aleixandre. Pastoral nature, love, and war are recurring themes in Hernández’s poetry, his words a dazzling reminder that force can never defeat spirit, that courage is its own reward.
In Miguel's earthy and wild poetry all the extravagances of color, of perfume, and of the voice of the Spanish Levant came together, with the exuberance and the fragrance of a powerful and virile youth.
Miguel Hernandez sang in his deep voice and his singing was as though all the trees were singing.
In Don Share's translations of Miguel Hernandez, there is a sense of shared elation between reader and translator that confirms the delight of exact sensation when the poem feels transmitted by that cautious and subtle alchemy that is the translator's skill.
The consummate poet of light, darkness, soul, time, death.
The apparent simplicity of his poems, which speak eloquently of love, poverty and hope, turned Hernandez into a popular figure who was elevated to cult status.
Raw, passionate, despairing and celebratory.
What a victory it is to watch springing forth from our murky thicket of half-commercialized poetry the silver boar of Hernandez's words—to see the world of paper part so as to allow the language tusks and shoulders to emerge, shining, pressed forward by his genius.
One of the great talents of the century.
—Philip Levine, The Kenyon Review
A cherished example of why great poetry is timeless.
—Ray Gonzalez, Bloomsbury Review