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Spanish Translations of "Poets to Come"

"Poets to Come" is among the poems most frequently included in book-length Spanish translations of Whitman's poetry. The sampling provided here suggests the contours of linguistic choices made by translators of the poem and offers a glimpse into the role it has played in various historical contexts. Although editions have appeared in many Hispanophone countries, the major publishing contexts for Whitman editions in Spanish have been Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires, each with its own region-specific dominant registers and phrasing choices. Key to understanding the history of the translation of Whitman into Spanish is that linguistic choices are only one factor, and not always the most important one, in the cultural transmission of the work. National, regional, and political contexts, as well as the specific changing historical circumstances of each, profoundly shape translations at the level of individual poems, the editions as selections, and even the morphologies of the volumes themselves as objects.

Presented here are eleven translations of "Poets to Come" in Spanish and an introductory essay by Matt Cohen, Nicole Gray, and Rey Rocha that discusses the different translations. The final translation available below is the first Spanish translation of the original published version of "Poets to Come," which first appeared in 1860 as "Chants Democratic 14."


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