University of Almería, Spain
by José Francisco Fernández-Sánchez. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged for access.
Yeats, W. B. 2006.
Encrucijadas. Edición bilingüe.
Traducción, prólogo y notas de Ibon Zubiaur.
There is no other option but to welcome the first translation into Spanish of Yeats’s first book of poems, Crossways (1889). There is a general tendency to prefer his mature poems (condensed, enigmatic, prophetic); but as the editor and translator of this edition, Ibon Zubiaur, claims in the preface, these are not just samples of juvenilia, but poems of exceptional beauty which point towards future themes that the poet would later address fully in his work. Zubiaur’s starting point is a deep knowledge of the author’s cultural background. He acknowledges, for instance, that the poet’s treatment of Indian and Celtic myth in this first collection is more a question of creating an evocative atmosphere than establishing a precise setting.
Zubiaur is also aware of Yeats’s struggle to force his poetry into the desired rhythmic patterns. His was not an easy, fluent process of composition, but the result was always colourful and intense. Zubiaur’s bilingual edition is therefore highly recommended for the empathy he shows towards the Irish author, and for the felicity of expression, like in this favourite line from «Anashuya and Vijaya»: «What know the pilots of the stars of tears?» «¿Qué saben de las lágrimas los pilotos de estrellas?»