August 25, 2022

Rafael Alberti [Merello] (Spain) 1902-1999

Rafael Alberti [Merello] (Spain)



One of the major poets of the Generation of 1927, Rafael Alberti was born in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. In 1917 he moved with his family to Madrid, where he began as a painter, working in both the impressionist and cubist styles. We was awarded the highly regarded National Literature Prize for his very first collection, Marinero en tierra (1925). Highly nostalgic in its tone, there is also a great deal of youthful exuberance in this collection; and the nostalgia disappeared in his next publication, La amante (The Mistress) published in 1926. But it was only with his 1927 collection El alba del aleli (The Dawn of the Wallflower) that he pushed for more complex linguistic patterns that characterize so much of his writing. Cal y canto of 1929, his cast in a more baroque manner, which reaches its highest expression in Sobre los ángeles (Concerning the Angels) of the same year. In this collection Alberti expresses his own spiritual crisis in terms that are simultaneously universal.


     In 1939 he was exiled to the United States, but continued to keep close personal and poetic connections with Spain, and after Franco's death in 1977 he returned to his homeland. Alberti has produced over fifty books of poetry, as well as several plays.




Marinero en tierra (Madrid: Biblioteca Neuva, 1925); La amante: Canciones (Malaga, 1926); El alba del ahelí (Santander: Ediciones para Amigos de J. M. de Cossío, 1927); Sobre los ángeles (Madrid: CIAP, 1929); Cal y canto (Madrid: Rivista de Occidente, 1929); Consignas (Madrid: Octubre, 1933); Un fantasma recorre Europa (A Spectre Is Haunting Europe: Poems of Revolutionary Spain) (Madrid: La Tentativa Poética, 1933); Poesía 1924-1930 (Madrid: Cruz y Raya, 1934); Verte ye no verte (Madrid: Aguirre, 1935); 13 bandas y 48 estrellas (Madrid, 1936); Poesía 1924-1937 (Madrid: Signo, 1938); Poesía 1924-1938 (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1940); Entre el clavel y la espada 1939-1940 (Buenos Aires: Losada); Pleamar 1942-1944 (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1944); A la pintura: Cantata de la linea y del color (Buenos Aires: Lopez, 1945; revised edition: Buenos Aires: Losada, 1948); Antologia poética 1924-1944 (Buenos Aires: Losada); Poesía 1924-1944 (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1946); El ceñidor de Benus desceñido (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1948); Coplas de Juan Panadero (Libro I) (Montevideo: Pueblos Unidos, 1949); Buenos Aires en tinta china [edited by Attilio Rossi) (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1951); Retornos de lo vivo lejano 1948-1952 (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1952; revised edition, Barcelona: Libros de Sinera, 1972); Ora maríitima (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1953); Baladas y anciones del Paraná (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1954); Diez liricografias (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1954); María Carmen Portela (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1956); Sonríe China (with María Teresa León) (Buenos Aires: Muchnok, 1958); Cal y cano, Sobre los ángeles, Sermones y moradas (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1959); El otoño, otra vez (Lima, 1960); Los viejos olivos (Caracas: Dirección de Cultura y Bella Artes, 1960); Poesías completas (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1961); Poemas escénicos (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1962); Diez sonetos romanos (Buenos Aires: Bonino, 1964); Abierto a todas la calle: Poesía civil 1931-1965 (Paris: Globe, 1966); Poemas de amor (Madrid: Alfaguara, 1967); Roma, peligro para caminantes 1964-1967 (Mexico City: Mortiz, 1968); Libro del mar, edited by Aitana Alberti (Barcelona: Lumen, 1968); Poesía anteriores a Marinero en tierra 1920-1923 (1969); Los 8 nombres de Picasso, y No digo más que lo que no digo 1966-1970 (Barcelona: Kairós, 1970); Canciones del altro valle del Aniene, y otros versos y prosas 1967-1972 (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1972); Poesía (Madrid: Aguilar, 1972); Poemas del destierro y de la espera, edited by J. Corredor-Matheos (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1976); Poesía (Havana: Arte y Literatura, 1976); Coplas de Juan Panadero 1949-1977, seguida de Vida bilingüe de un refugiado español en Francia 1939-1940 (Madrid: Mayoría, 1977); Poesía 1924-1977 (Madrid: Aguilar, 1977); El matador: Poemas escénicos 1961-1965 (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1979); Fustigada luz (1972-78) (Barcelona, Seix Barral, 1980); Canto de siempre (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1980); Versos sueltos de cada día (1979-82) (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1982).




Selected Poems, translated by Lloyd Mallan (New York: New Directions, 1944); Selected Poems, edited and translated by Ben Belitt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966); Concerning the Angels, trans. by Geoffrey Connell (London: Rapp and Carroll, 1967); The Owl's Insomnia, edited and translated by Mark Strand (New York: Atheneum, 1973); The Other Shore: 100 Poems, edited by Kosrof Chantikian, trans. by José A. Elgorriaga and Paul Martin (San Francisco: Kosmos, 1981); Concerning the Angels, trans. by Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995); To Painting, trans. with an Introduction and Notes by Carolyn L. Tipton (Evanston, Illionis, 1997).

For two poems in English, go here:

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