Luis Cernuda (1902-1963) has come to be seen as the most influential poet of Spain's "Generation of 1927," exceeding even Lorca in terms of the poetic resources and ideas that he created for poets of later generations. Because of the Fascist victory in the Spanish Civil War, Cernuda went into exile from Spain in 1939 and lived in Scotland, England, the USA, and Mexico, where he joined several other Spanish poets in a small community in exile.
Reginald Gibbons is the author of eight books of poems, most recently Creatures of a Day (2008, LSU Press), and several works of translation from ancient Greek and from Spanish, including Selected Poems of Luis Cernuda (Sheep Meadow, 1999 ).
Photo: Cornelia Spelman
Few modern poets, in any language, give us this chilling sense of knowing ourselves to be before a man who really speaks, effectively possessed by the fatality and the lucidity of passion.—Octavio Paz