Miguel de Unamuno, one of Spain's foremost literary figures, is better known for his essays and novels than for his poetry. Yet it was as a poet that he wished to be remembered and it is in his poems that he reveals the most intimate and sensitive part of his complex personality. To truly get to know Unamuno as creator it is necessary to read his poetry. This anthology of 50 poems, though modest in comparison to his large poetic output, offers the reader some of his most characteristic poems, with an English version prepared by a well-known Unamuno scholar. The English renderings are sufficiently free to allow for the use of rhyme and regular metre, but strive to capture Unamuno's highly personal way of looking at our human circumstance and destiny. In effect the anthology offers a way of approaching Unamuno that differs significantly from an approach via his prose works: it projects a more meditative and warm-hearted individual than the combative Unamuno of popular perception.
The 50 poems, each with a short commentary relating it to Unamuno's personal circumstances and to his thought, are arranged under six headings: (1) Family and Home; (2) God and Mortality; (3) The Land; (4) Exile; (5) Language and Poetry; (6) Philosophical Meditations. The anthology thus offers a microcosm of Unamuno's poetic world and should be useful to those who have little or no knowledge of him. It provides a way of learning something about the man and the writer through a part of his production that has received less attention than it deserves and which projects a significantly different image from the widespread view we have of him. The poems are preceded by a substantial introduction which explores the importance and relevance of Unamuno's poetry, his major themes, and his style.
C. A. Longhurst is Emeritus Professor of the University of Leeds and was for eight years Visiting Professor at King's College London. He has published over twenty books and articles on Unamuno
Introduction Unamuno's Poetic Production Poetic Themes The Translation Editions of Unamuno's Poetry Select Bibliography I Family And Home 1 Volviendo a casa / Returning Home 2 El hogar / Home 3 Dulce, silencioso pensamiento / Sweet, Silent Thought 4 Al nino enfermo / To the Sick Child 5 En la muerte de Concha / Upon the Death of Concha 6 En mi estudio / In my Study 7 El nino y el muneco / The Child and the Doll 8 La presencia de Concha / Concha's Presence II God And Mortality 9 Silencios vacios / Empty Silence 10 Para despues de mi muerte / After I Cease to Be 11 Leyendo un libro vivo de un amigo muerto / Reading the Living Book of a Dead Friend 12 A la espera / Waiting 13 Rios de mi vida / Rivers of my Life 14 Irrequietum cor / Restless Heart 15 La oracion del ateo / The Atheist's Prayer 16 Salmo II / Psalm II III The Land 17 Salamanca / Salamanca 18 Tierra del Tormes / Land of the Tormes 19 Al Tormes / To the River Tormes 20 La pena de Francia / The Rock of France 21 El lago de San Martin / The Lake at San Martin 22 Medina de Rioseco / Medina de Rioseco 23 La voz de la campana / The Voice of the Bell 24 Portugal (i) / Portugal (i) 25 Portugal (ii) / Portugal (ii) IV Exile 26 Mi otro sino / My Other Fate 27 Olas lejanas / Distant Waves 28 Betancuria / Betancuria 29 Fuerteventura / Fuerteventura 30 En el exilio / In Exile 31 Romances fronterizos / Frontier Ballads 32 Orhoit gutaz / Remember Us 33 El cementerio de Hendaya / The Cemetery at Hendaye V Language and Poetry 34 Las caras de la poesia / The Faces of Poetry 35 La labor del poeta / The Task of the Poet 36 La palabra que vibra / The Vibrant Word 37 La palabra cruel / The Cruel Word 38 La palabra simbolo / The Word as Symbol 39 Non omnis moriar / Not All of Me Will Die 40 El nombre del Hombre / The Name of Man 41 Los hijos de silencio / The Children of Silence VI Philosophical Meditations 42 Kant y la rana / Kant and the Frog 43 ?Libres? / Are we Free? 44 Dios y la palabra / God and the Word 45 Entropia / Entropy 46 Las agujas del reloj / The Hands of the Clock 47 Filosofemas / Philosophemes 48 La ultima palabra de Hamlet / Hamlet's Last Word 49 Anamnesis / Reminiscence Conclusion 50 La muerte es sueno / Death is a Dream Commentaries on the Poems