Welcome to my blog. Each week I will be featuring a poet or poetry collection that I love.
Years ago — around 1974 — I purchased a copy of Rafael Alberti’s The Owl’s Insomnia, Poems Selected and Translated by Mark Strand.
It’s one of those wonderful collections that one will never remove from one’s bookshelf. Or at least from mine!
The translations include a famous elegy for Lorca — which I beautiful — but my absolute favorite is “The Coming Back of Love in Bright Landscapes.
Here is the first stanza:
We believe, my love, that those landscapes
have remained asleep or dead with whatever we were
in the times, in the days, when we inhabited them;
we believe that trees lose their memory
and that nights pass, giving to oblivion
what made them beautiful and maybe immortal.
The original publisher was Atheneum (1973), but the paper back is still available from Macmillian (1982). I also found another collection of his translated by Carolyn Tipton, worth looking into: Returnings: Poems of Love and Distance, White Pine Press (2016).