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MY VOICE BECAUSE OF YOU BY PEDRO SALINAS
My Voice Because of You by Pedro Salinas, Translation and Introduction by Willis Barnstone. Translation and introduction by Willis Barnstone. Published by State University of New York Press in 1977.
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The Spanish poet Pedro Salinas is a member of that group of brilliant and original poets called the Generation of '27, a group which includes Rafael Alberti, Jorge Guillen, Luis Cernuda, Vincente Aleixandre, and Federico Garcia Lorca. First published as La voz a ti debida in Madrid in 1933, Salinas' sequence of seventy poems is his most famous work, and is thought by many to be the best book of love poetry written in this century. Willis Barnstone's translation makes it available as a whole for the first time in English.

As part of Spain's vanguard movement, Salinas believed in reviving elements from earlier eras, as is demonstrated by a title such as Razon de amor (from the medieval Sermon of Love), as well as Largo Lamento and La voz a ti debida (from the Renaissance poet Garcilaso de la Vega). Salinas shows a natural affinity with the intricate objectivity of the baroque poet Gongora, and continues the Spanish mystical tradition while reaching the metaphysical through human love. And though he learned much from earlier eras, he is also very much of this century, as is seen in his imagery of typewriters, telephones, and car radiators, all deftly handled through a variety of poetic moods.

In fact, few modern poets have so discerningly employed the external data of our experience as transformed through the emotions and imagination. For Salinas "Telegraph wires carry kisses." He is by turns playful, ironic, sentimental, and despairing, leading us through love's sense of amazement, humor, tragedy. Salinas' confessional persona speaks with extraordinary power, and the poems operate both individually and cumulatively. Willis Barnstone's translation captures the changing tones of the poet's internal journey, giving us a deep sense of the variety and poignancy found in the original.

My Voice Because of You has been accepted in UNESCO's series of translations of European literature.

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