The Prison Poems

SKU: 978-1-60235-090-8

Miguel Hernández
Translated & Introduced by Michael Smith

Free Verse Editions
Edited by Jon Thompson

Cover of The Wash

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978-1-60235-090-8 (paperback; $18.00; £13.00; $23.00 Can) 208 pages, © 2008 by Parlor Press

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978-1-60235-091-5 (Adobe eBook; $18.00; £13.00; €15.00; $23.00 Can)

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From the Introduction . . .

“The poetic achievement of Hernández . . .lies in his winning through all the various purposes to which he devoted his poetic talent and persisting to achieve the profound expression of an individualism that was tortured by the social and political concerns from which his humanity could not turn away.
—Michael Smith


The Prison Poems is the first complete translation into English of Miguel Hernández’s Cancionero y romancero de ausencias, a classic of twentieth century Spanish poetry, comparable in many respects to the work of Lorca and Pablo Neruda. The poems in this book were mostly written while Hernández was in prison after the defeat of Republican Spain. Although he was totally involved in the Republican cause, its defeat did not lead to bitterness on his part. The poems are profoundly human, rising beyond political ideology, constantly striving toward a redemptive vision of the human condition.

About the Translator and Editor

The translator and editor is Michael Smith, a widely published poet and translator who in 2001 was the first Irish recipient of the European Academy Medal for distinguished work in the translation of poetry in Spanish, awarded by the European Academy of Poetry.

Free Verse Editions
Edited by Jon Thompson

Free Verse Editions is a joint venture between Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics and Parlor Press. The series will publishes three to five books of poetry per year, collections that use language to dramatize a singular vision of experience, a mastery of craft, a deep knowledge of poetic tradition, and a willingness to take risks. Please review the series description for more information.

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