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This review is taken from PN Review 51, Volume 13 Number 1, September - October 1986.

PENINSULAR AND TRANSATLANTIC: Modern Poetry in Spanish Troubled Times: twentieth century Spanish poets (Prospice 15: Aquila Publishing, P.O. Box 1, Portree, Isle of Skye), £4.95 pb.
The Poetry of Gabriel Celaya, translated by Betty Jean Craige (Bucknell University Press) £18.50
Antonio Cisneros, At Night the Cats, edited and translated by various hands (Red Dust, P.O. Box 630, New York, NY 10028) $14.95
Laureano Albán, The Endless Voyage, translated by Frederick Fornoff (International Poetry Series, vol.8, Ohio University Press), £10.40 pb.

Thirty years have passed since J. M. Cohen's Penguin Book of Spanish Verse, yet it is still possible to feel, as he did, that 'no body of lyrical poetry is so seriously under-estimated by British readers as the Spanish'. Lorca, or the received idea of him, seems to have left us strangely reluctant to set out in quest of figures of comparable greatness, in spite of many heroic efforts to remedy the situation on the part of experts, enthusiasts and amateurs in the best sense of the word. The Americans order matters of this kind with a much finer sense of propriety and decorum, and it is no surprise that all but one of the books under review should originate across the Atlantic, where things Spanish can never be excluded from consideration. It remains to be seen whether, with Spain no longer suffering the isolation from the rest of Europe that ensued after the Civil War, its modern poetry - quite as rich, and in some ways more approachable than that of its near-neighbours - can come to occupy as important a place in our affections as its virtues warrant.

The ever-enterprising editors of Prospice, the Isle of Skye review, clearly think that this will only occur if we encounter Spanish poetry en masse, and have put together a special issue which contains generous selections from the work of no less than twenty-two poets. Some of them (Alberti, Cernuda, Hernández, Otero, Hidalgo, Hierro and Valente) are represented ...

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