25 Sep 14
and in the shop…
in translation –
“Selected Poems of Antonio Machado”
“Ice Flowers Over Rock”
Patrick Early was born in India, and grew up in England during the war years. He studied French, Spanish, and Russian at Cambridge, and went on to obtain postgraduate degrees at the universities of Leeds, Essex and Goldsmiths, University of London. During an overseas career with the British Council, he was lucky enough to live with his family in a number of different countries exposed to daily use of Spanish, Portuguese and Serbian languages, among other languages.
Since retirement he has dedicated his time to writing and translating poetry. His poems have appeared in a number of British and Irish journals, and in 2013, a collection Ice Flowers over Rock was published with Lapwing, Belfast. His collection of translations of the poems of Antonio Machado, A Voice in Time: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado was published in 2014 by Ourglass Publishing (trans. Patrick Early, ed. Daniela Obert, illustr. James Atkins). His interest in the poetry of Antonio Machado began with the study of Spanish language and literature at school, continued at university and later deepened during years of living and working in Argentina and Spain.
He takes the view that “Machado, since his tragic death in exile in Collioure in 1939 at the age of 64, has grown in stature and is unquestionably one of Spain’s greatest poets, but today is also perceived as an exemplary survivor of a period of bitter conflict and a champion of moderation and good sense, respected for his political commitment, courage and integrity; but that, outside the Spanish-speaking world, Antonio Machado remains surprisingly little known except as a distant poetic reputation.
Seamus Heaney once drily remarked : “It is better to translate than not to translate, obviously.” When lack of knowledge of a foreign language is a barrier to enjoyment and understanding of a text, the logical thing is to attempt to translate it. Early’s own enthusiasm for Machado’s poetry as well as for Machado the citizen, has led him to attempt a new translation of a selection of the poems in a bilingual edition where his versions sit side by side with the Spanish originals, in the hope that they may bring new readers to share his enthusiasm.