When Pedro Salinas' 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 in any language in the twentieth century. Now, seventy-five years after its original 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, 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' contemporary, the poet Jorge Guillen, and a masterly afterword by 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.
Pedro Salinas (1891-1951) was a poet, scholar, and literary critic who taught extensively in Europe and the United States. He is the author of nine books of poems, as well as a novel, short stories, plays, essays, and criticism. Willis Barnstone is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, Spanish, and Portuguese Emeritus at Indiana University. He is the author, translator, or editor of more than fifty publications.