I walked through the light I always longed for.
— from the author’s introduction
That line about Andalusia might almost stand for this whole book, which contains translations of more than sixty poets from over a dozen languages and/or dialects; these include Italian, Dutch, Milanese and Irish.
Anonymous folksongs and amorous lyrics by 13th and 14th century troubadours introduce Pearse Hutchinson’s personal anthology, of which he says: ‘Every poem in this book has been translated because I liked it.’ Done into English reflects a particular interest in the languages of Spain and Portugal, with ample selections from Celso Emelio Ferreiro, Pere Quart and Salvador Espriu. His much admired Friends Songs are featured, as are his versions of Josep Carner, which have been highly praised in Catalonia. The wide-ranging introduction describes some of the complexities and crudities of language-politics and chronicles meetings with poets and a lifetime’s work.