The Poet and the Sea
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“This is a very valuable book! Dozens of poems are here that have never been translated into English before, and I think Berg and Maloney have done beautifully transferring Juan Ramon's enthusiastic calm from Spanish to English. Terrific.”—Robert Bly
“As he observes metaphysical somersaults of sea and land, Juan Ramón is the master of replete simplicity. 'A steel sea' pops up on a 'hard flat field/of exhausted mines/in a devastation of ruin.' Or, like Emily Dickinson’s 'hope falls down a hill,' Jiménez has, 'Hope, a seagull,/ alights here and there.' The utter nakedness of his verse touched virtually all modern Spanish poetry, directly engendering, for example, Rafael Alberti’s masterful sea book, Sailor on Land, and 'I walk the streets of the sea.' In The Poet and the Sea, a delicious book perfectly rendered by Mary Berg and Dennis Maloney, Juan Ramón has made essential pacts of intimacy with the great waters of the world. The seas grow in trickery and gravity in endless dramas as two figures emerge: a blind yet live sea and a poet who sees through the sea. The sea is a changing mirror of the poet who has imposed his vision on the whims of his companion sea.”—Willis Barnstone
This bilingual collection traces Juan Ramon Jimenez’s relationship with the sea, a major theme in his work, from his seminal book Diary of a Poet Recently Married alongside other poems from his body of work.
I feel my boat
has struck something large
there, in the depths of the sea!
And then nothing
happens! Nothing…Silence… Waves…
Nothing happens? Or has everything happened And are we now, calm, in someplace new?
Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881–1958) was a member of the Generation of 1898, which ushered in a renaissance in Spanish poetry. In 1956 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Translators Marg Berg and Dennis Maloney have previously collaborated on Antonio Machado’s book The Landscape of Castile.
Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958) was a member of the generation of 1898, which ushered in a renaissance in Spanish Poetry. In 1956 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He dedicated over 60 years of his life to poetry and published many volumes of work. He also is well known for his prose work, Platero and I. Mary Berg is a writer and translator. She has translated a number of books from Spanish, including I've Forgotten Your Name by Martha Rivera, River of Sorrows by Libertad Demitropulos, Ximena at the Crossroads by Laura Riesco, and The Landscape of Castile by Antonio Machado. She teaches at Harvard University Extension and Brandeis University. Dennis Maloney is a poet and translator. His works of translation include The House in the Sand by Pablo Neruda and The Landscape of Castile by Antonio Machado. His most recent volume of poetry is The Map Is Not The Territory.