The Modern Spanish Sonnet

Editor(s) John Rutherford

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Iberian and Latin American Studies

  • October 2023 · 224 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781837720699
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781837720705
  • · eBook - epub - 9781837720712

About The Book

The fine tradition of the Spanish sonnet, developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the subject of Rutherford’s The Spanish Golden Age Sonnet (2016), has been extended and developed during the subsequent centuries. This book presents one hundred of the best sonnets of the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including sonnets written in the Catalan and Galician languages, together with their translations into modern English sonnets and a critical commentary on each. There is a general introduction to the genre, followed by summaries of the historical and literary backgrounds and a discussion of the problems facing the translator of sonnets. The life and works of each poet are summarised and a select bibliography of further reading concludes the volume. The translations bring these sonnets to new life in the modern English language, and they can be read both as interesting and lively poems in their own right and as leads into the originals.


‘As the second part of Cervantes’s Don Quxiote proved, the commonplace that sequels invariably disappoint isn’t always true. Following on from the pedagogical and poetic exemplarity of The Spanish Golden Age Sonnet, John Rutherford covers latter centuries in elegant and erudite fashion. His enviable ability to navigate Castilian, Catalan and Galician comes in handy. A lifetime of teaching and translating allows him to curate canonical and less-canonical works, demonstrating the towering influence of the Golden Age on subsequent centuries, whilst remaining alive to the possibilities of innovation and change in even the least celebrated periods of Spanish letters.’

Professor Duncan Wheeler, Chair of Spanish Studies and Director of International Activities, University of Leeds

‘John Rutherford has created a landmark anthology of sonnets written in Spain from the eighteenth century to the present: fifty sonneteers he translates from Catalan, Galician and Spanish with great verve and imagination. His commentaries on the writers, his translations and the art of the sonnet are lucid, learned and pithy, and he also loves the awkward and the ambiguous. His selection will be a revelation to Anglophone readers. Lorca and Machado are here, of course, but so are the magnificent Rosa Chacel and J.V.Foix. A major literary event!’

Peter Bush, Former Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation


Diego de Torres Villarroel
Nicolás Fernández de Moratín
José Cadalso
Tomás de Iriarte
Juan Meléndez Valdés
José de Espronceda
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
Carolina Coronado
Adelardo López de Ayala
José Echegaray
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón
Gaspar Núñez de Arce
Gustavo Alonso Bécquer
Leopoldo Cano y Masas
Manuel Curros Enríquez
Joan Alcover
Salvador Rueda
Miguel de Unamuno
Rubén Darío
Manuel Machado
Antonio Machado
Ramón Cabanillas
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Josep Carner
Tomás Morales
J. V. Foix
Jorge Guillén
Carles Riba
Xosé Crecente Vega
Gerardo Diego
Avelino Díaz
Federico García Lorca
Rosa Chacel
Dámaso Alonso
Rafael Alberti
Miguel Hernández
Xosé María Díaz Castro
Blas de Otero
Joan Brossa
Rafael Morales
Luz Pozo Garza
José María Valverde
Ramón García González
Antonio Gamoneda
Francisco Brines
Antonio Carvajal
Jesús Royo Arpón
Luis Alberto de Cuenca
Darío Xohán Cabana
Ramiro Fonte
Select Bibliography
Index of first lines of Spanish sonnets

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): John Rutherford

John Rutherford taught Spanish and Spanish-American language and literature at Oxford University for over forty years until his retirement in 2008. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.

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