7 Famous Spanish Poems
by Simona Supenkar
Few can doubt the beauty of the Spanish language, especially when it comes to Spanish poems. Poetry lends itself very well to Spanish, as the language often reflects cultures where faith, family, politics, and romance are sometimes very intertwined.
Pablo Neruda – “Tonight I Can Write”
When beginning your exploration of Spanish poetry, start first with the poems of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet. This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet typical writes very vivid, Spanish poems about love and longing, but he also writes odes and politically-inspired poetry as well. The poem “Tonight I Can Write” is one almost anyone can relate to—it’s a poem about love and longing, and Neruda uses heartwrenching imagery to describe this loss of love, like “love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
Pablo Neruda -- “Poetry Arrived”
The genius of Pablo Neruda begs one more poetry recommendation—his poem “Poetry Arrived,” which is a beautiful foray into the world of poetry. Translated from the Spanish poem, this still holds strong in English and personifies poetry as a force that finds Neruda, bewitching him with its power. A must-read.
Gabriela Mistral – “Anniversary”
A talented poet and former educator from Chile, Gabriela Mistral frequently wrote about the downtrodden, love, religion, and more somber topics, like death and mortality. She was the first Latin American poet to win the Nobel Prize in literature.
Jorge Luis Borges – “The Art of Poetry”
Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges is one of the most famous Spanish-speaking and writing poets of our time. His insightful Spanish poems use surrealist imagery and elements to convey poetry’s beauty. “The Art of Poetry” is a meditation on the beauty and the uses of poetry.
Federico Garcia Lorca – “Adam”
Federcio Lorca was a Spanish poet whose death still remains a mystery but it was believed it was entwined with the politics during the Spanish Civil War. He wrote Spanish poems about a variety of subjects ranging from religion to politics to nature. “Adam” is an example of a reinterpretation of the biblical story.
Cesar Vallejo – “Under the Poplars”
Cesar Vallejo was a Peruvian poet who typically wrote about religion, life, death, and politics. He lived in Spain, France, and traveled to the USSR. Vallejo has been considered one of the greatest poets since Dante. His Spanish poem, “Under the Poplars” has been translated into English and is an example of his thoughts on religion and poetry.
Sandra Cisneros – “You Bring Out the Mexican in Me”
Mostly known for her novel, The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American writer who also writes fantastic poetry. Her Spanish poems typically focus on themes of cultural identity, love, and push the envelope a bit. Many of her well-known poems are available in Loose Woman, like “You Bring Out the Mexican in Me.”