Penguin is not always brilliant and works in translation. More often than not translations continue to circulate from decades ago which seem stilted and academic. Poetry is especially hard to get right, and Lorca's poetry in particular. A genius in his own language, rendering his magnificence in English is particularly difficult.
So it gives me great joy to be able to praise this collection to high heaven. I stumbled across it while working on a production of his play YERMA in which we decided to use some of his poetry as a way of entering Yerma's interior landscape. I am delighted to say that these translations, which have clearly been done with enormous sensitivity and love both for Lorca's poetry and the English and Spanish language, capture perfectly the mixture of soul, deep pain, romantic yearning and exquisite spirituality that is this great poet's work.
Lorca put his heart and soul 100% into everything he wrote. Here you get a wide span of his work, all beautifully rendered. The Dark Sonnets Of Love are especially good, but there is a great deal of wonder here. Add to this an excellent sympathetic and informative introduction which has lots to reveal about Lorca and illuminating insights into his concept of 'the Duende' which opens up whole vistas of understanding into his life and work, and you have a must-read.
Love Lorca? Then this the book for you.
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