I can go on and on about Pedro Salinas or his poetry. But to spare you the long story, I want to share a portion of one of my favorite poems.
Qué alegría, vivir
a la gran certidumbre, oscuramente,
de que otro ser, fuera de mí, muy lejos,
me está viviendo.
What a joy, to live
feeling yourself lived.
to the great certainty, darkly,
that another being, outside of me, very far away,
is living me. (Salinas, La voz 792-97; Crispin 39)
Beautiful, isn’t it? I love the pure and simple language. One of my professors said the lines sound like lyrics in songs you hear today. I think anyone can read this without feeling intimidated or anxious. The best part is you can read it in English as well as in Spanish. If you are interested, you can access the review by clicking on the following address:
This translation is a very good attempt to give English readers a taste of Pedro Salinas’s poetry. The book showcases many poems from three specific collections and places them into one volume. Many, if not all, of these poems can pass as official English translations. For those who are learning Spanish, this book conveniently places the original poems on even-numbered pages with the English translations on the odd-numbered ones. The poems are refreshing and whimsical. Certain poems leave a remarkable impression because the goal is to define the essence of the beloved in very simple language. However, the simplicity of the language hides a very deep and philosophical discourse.
I do not give this book a five-star rating because there are some minor problems with the text. There are some typing errors in various places, including extra spaces and misspelled words. Both the English and Spanish versions have these errors. I question whether or not the editors kept a very good eye out for these mistakes. For a student or scholar needing an official source in Spanish, I recommend finding a more reliable source. One needs to be careful when comparing words between the two versions, as they might not be the official wording or the most correct translation (despite the translator’s system of methodology explained in the introduction). This volume also does not contain all the poems found in other official versions, so keep in mind this book is an abridgement.
This is a very good book to purchase if you are a fan of love poetry. Lovers may find this book a pleasure to read in an intimate setting.