9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2003
No matter where I open this book, time stops. Gentle as an uncle I once knew, his words carry forward, linger on, and I find myself nodding affirmatively in of all places, this world
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2008
Vicente Aleixander was part of that great Generation of '27 - famous for such members as Lorca, Cernuda, Alberti and Salinas. He was the least political and this perhaps explains how he survived during the years of the Civil War. Lorca was executed by Franco's troops and the peasant-turned poet, Miguel Hernandez, who fought for the Communists, died in prison in 1942. Many of the Generation of '27 fled the country. Alberti didn't return until well after Franco's death, having lived abroad in Italy and the United States, often a visiting professor. Salinas, too, taught abroad. Aleixandre opted to stay in his native land.
Aleixandre's poetry is darker than his peers. Where Alberti and Salinas celebrate music, beauty, love, and painting (especially Alberti), Aleixandre's is a celebration of loneliness, of isolation. His early poems are quite deep and almost unreadable at times, so fraught with esoteric meaning (like Hernandez's early poems) that it might turn the reader off when first presented with this book. But the further one travels into this great collection, the greater the beauty and more universal the themes of love, loss and sadness. One feels the ocean, the waves, the sand but also a woman's body, the world destroyed but renewed. There is an organic quality to his poetry, it is human but also detached and poignant.
I prefer Aleixandre's work to many of his contemporaries. He reminds me to some degree of Georg Trakl in Germany - the darkness, the silence of the world, the pulse of life in nature surrounding humanity.
This selection features translations by Lewis Hyde (also editor of the book), Roberty Bly, W.S. Merwin, Willis Barnstone and many others...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2000
"Her hand given over" is the sweetest, saddest, truest poem I've read about a woman from a man's point of view. I'm so glad to know about Aleixandre.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 1998
"Destruction of Love" and "A Longing for the Light" are the best poetry in Spanish I have ever read. Perfect language, perfect idea... The best.