August 16, 2012

Antonio Colinas (Spain) 1946

Antonio Colinas (Spain)

Born in La Bañeza, Leon on January 30, 1946, Antonio Colinas is a major Spanish poet vaguely situated as part of the Generation of 1970 and the Spanish novísimos, although his work was not included in the anthology of their work.
     Colinas studied history at the University of Madrid before teaching, between 1970 and 1974 at the Universities of Milan and Bergamo in Spanish. He spent two decades in Ibiza before moving to Salamanca.

His first book of over 40 books of poetry, was Poemas de la tierra y de la sange (Poems of the Land and the Blood), published in 1969 along with, the same year, Preludios a una noch total (Preludes to a Total Night), both of which established him as a kind of classicist with mystical leanings. Yet his work, filled with poetic tradition, philosophical, spiritual concerns defines its own territory, and Colinas’ voice is quite original and, often, astonishing beautiful.
      Besides his notable contributions to poetry, the author has also published numerous books of fiction ( Un año en el sur, 1986; Larga carta a Francesco, 1986; Días en Petavonium, 1994; El crujido de la luz, 1999; and Huellas, 2003), dozens of books of essays and other genres, as well as translating more than 20 authors.
     He won the Premio Nacional de Literatura prize in 1982 and the Premio de la Academia Castellana y Leonesa for poetry in 2001.


 Poemas de la tierra y de la sangre (León: Diputación Provincial, 1969); Preludios a una noche total (Madrid: Rialp, 1969); Truenos y flautas en un temple (San Sebastián: C. A. G. de Guipúzcoa, 1972); Sepulcro en Tarquinia ((León: Diputación Provincial, 1975; Barcelona, Lumen, 1976); Astolabio (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1979); En lo oscuro (Rota: Cuadernos de Cera, 1971); Poesia, 1967-1980 (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1982); Sepulcro en Tarquinia (Barcelona: Galeria Amagatotis, 1982); Noche más allá de la noche (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1983); Poesia, 1967-1981 (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1984); Diapasón infinito (Barcelona: Tallers Chardon y Yamamoto, 1986); Dieciocho poemas (Ibiza: Caixa Balears, 1987); Material de lectura (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987); Jardin de Orfeo (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1988); Libro de las noches abiertas (Milano: Peter Pfeiffer, 1989); Blanco / Negro (Milano: Petere Pfeiffer, 1990); Los silencios de fuego (Barcelona: Tusquets, 1992); La hora interior (Barcelona: Taller Joan Roma, 1992); El rio de sombra. Poesia 1967-1990 (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1994); Pájaros en el muro / Birds in the wall (Barcelona: Taller Joan Roma, 1995); Libro de la mansedumbre (Barcelona: Tusquets, 1997); Córdoba adolescente (Córdoba: CajaSur, 1997); El rio de sombra. Trienta años de poesía, 1967-1997 (Madrid: Visor Libros, 1999); Amor que enciende más amor (Barcelona: Plaza y Janés, 1999); Nueve poemas (Salamanca: Celya, 2000); Junto al lago (Salamanca: Cuadernos para Lisa, 2001); Tiempo y abismo (Barcelona: Tusquets, 2002); La hora interior. Antología 1967-2001 (León: Junta de Castilla y León, 2003); Seis poemas (Burgos: Instituto de la Lengua de Castilla y León, 2003); Trienta y ocho poemas (Madrid: Real Casa de la Moneda, 2003); El río de sombra. Trienta cinco años de poesía, 1967-2002 (Madrid: Visor Libros, 2004); Noche más allá de la noche (Vallodaolid: Fundación Jorge Guillén, 2004); En Ávila unas pocas palabras (Valloadolid: Ediciones de El Gato Gris, 2004); Obra poética complete, 1967-2010 (Madrid: Siruela, 2011) 


 Selection in Four Postmodern Poets of Span: A Critical Introduction with Translations of the Poems (ed. and trans. by Kay Pritchett) (Fayettevill: The University of Arkansas Press, 1991); Pájaros en el muro / Birds in the wall (Barcelona: Taller Joan Roma, 1995) (a bi-lingual edition)

The River of Shadow

This road lines with dour hundred-year-old fig trees—
where is it talking me on this uncertain night?
The heat has overcome the doves in the wheat field.
Only the cool, innumerable cascades of grapevines,
over the unhoping eye of the partridge tangled
and wounded in a snare at the clearing,
over the sweat of the horses,
The shade creates a sweet, fresh river of shadow,
a deep channel between black trunks,
traced by a divine hand.

When night falls an enormous sword
comes after me; it tears at the sky, whistles
demonically among the branches.
But today I am safe. Goodbye, persistent
and exhausting snares of life.
Safe in the unfathomed channel
of the night road, between the infinite
lines that someone drafted centuries ago.
A channel where nothing bewilders me
but the sickly, sublime aroma
of a procession of mown rose bushes.

(from Astolabio, 1979)

—Translated from the Spanish by John DuVal

“The River of the Shadow” reprinted from Kay Pritchett, ed. Four Postmodern Poets of Spain: A Critical Introduction with Translations of the Poems (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1991). Copyright ©1991 by Kay Pritchett. Reprinted by permission of The University of Arkansas Press.      

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