Miguel Hernández, Don Share
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Miguel Hernández is, along with Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Federico García Lorca, one of the greatest Spanish poets of the twentieth century. This volume spans the whole of Hernández’s brief writing life, and includes his most celebrated poems, from the early lyrics written in traditional forms, such as the moving elegy Hernández wrote to his friend and mentor Ramon Sijé (one of the most famous elegies ever written in the Spanish language), to the spiritual eroticism of his love poems, and the heart-wrenching, luminous lines written in the trenches of war. Also included in this edition are tributes to Hernández by Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda (interviewed by Robert Bly), Rafael Alberti, and Vicente Aleixandre. Pastoral nature, love, and war are recurring themes in Hernández’s poetry, his words a dazzling reminder that force can never defeat spirit, that courage is its own reward.
clamoring my heart debates. The last thing, and the first: a shipwrecked corner, pool of spittle confined to its riverbed of love. Siesta that has darkened the sun of damp places. I would like to stretch out there to fall out of love. After love, the earth. After the earth, no one. To Sing The house is a dovecote and the bed is a bed of jasmines. The door is wide open to the whole world. The child: your motherly heart grown large. In these rooms: everything that has
chains is small and foreign to me. Who locks up a smile? Who walls in a voice? There you are in the distance, alone as death. You, and I. There you are in the distance. In your arms, you feel my imprisonment. In your arms, where freedom for the two of us beats like a heart. I am free. Feel me free! Just for love! After Love We could not be. The earth could not be enough. We are not so much as the sun intended in its distant yearning. One foot approaches the light. The other
won’t go along: I despair as if I were a hurricane of lava in the presidio of an enslaved almond, or in the hanging prison of a finch. To kiss you was to kiss a wasp’s nest that nails me to torment and unnails me and digs a burial pit, and digs down into my heart where I die. No, I won’t go along: that would be to worship too much the vision of your kiss, to follow the curse of your fragrance. One buried alive in crying, a revolution in bone, I’m a lightning bolt, subject to a
thunder— this is what my throat demands from now on, forever. Come close as I cry out, people of the same milk, tree whose roots have trapped me, because I am here to defend you, with my blood and mouth like two faithful rifles. If I came from the earth, if I was given birth from a miserable, impoverished womb, it was only to be made into misery’s nightingale, an echo of bad luck, to sing again and again, to those who must hear, of suffering, of the poor, of the land.
sand. July 18, 1936–July 18, 1938 Blood, not hail, pounds at my temples. Two years of blood: two floods. Blood, circulating like the sun, swallowing everything until the balconies are left drowned and empty. Blood, the finest of all treasures. Blood, which stored up its gifts for love. See it churning up oceans, surprising trains, breaking down bulls as it heartens lions. Time is blood. Time pumps through my veins. And here with the clock and dawn, I am more than wounded, and I