WHAT I’M READING: A Longing for the Light, a posthumous selection of his work in translation.
REVIEW: Aleixandre’s early surrealist verse is pretty interesting. There are lots of unusual images: “A tree is a thigh that grows on the earth like life standing up,” to take one completely at random. Aleixandre definitely had a good eye for effective imagery like that when he was young. But his more mature work takes that imagery and smooths the rough edges off to make an incredible lyric style. I think one of my favorite love poems now is “The Explosion,” which is from his collection Historia del Corazon. “Love isn’t like a bomb bursting, but at the same time that’s really what it is./ It’s like an explosion that lasts a whole lifetime.” Yes.
WHAT’S NEXT: Octavio Paz