Pedro Salinas (1892-1951), one of the greatest modern poets of any country, is unquestionably the preeminent love poet of twentieth-century Spain.
Memory in My Hands includes an ample selection of his three books of love poetry –
The Voice I Owe to You [La voz a ti debida],
A Reason for Love [Razón de amor], and
Long Lament [Largo lamento] in English translation alongside the Spanish original. This trilogy of love poems, the last (posthumous) of which has never been translated before, are of a nature to win a large and devoted audience: they are at once passionate, eloquent, and whimsical. The introduction to
Memory in My Hands sets the poems in context, providing the story of the love affair that inspired the poems. It also raises the question of the nature of autobiographical poetry and considers this collection in the tradition of poetic sequences such as Philip Sidney’s
Astrophil and Stella.