"Cyrus Cassells, a masterful poet and translator, has created a unique and powerful hybrid translation/poetic homage to Catalunya’s great twentieth-century poet Salvador Espriu. The lion’s share of To the Cypress Again and Again is a supple translation of Espriu’s first book, Sinera Cemetery, along with selections from other collections. A reader will come away with a poignant sense of Espriu’s beloved seaside landscape as well as, in Espriu’s words, his “precious Catalan’s/ mysterious gold”: a language that was suppressed and forbidden under Franco’s regime. Cassells has given us an enduring gift to the memory of Espriu—through his personal introduction, his loving translations, followed by his own Espriu-inspired poems that evoke “an alphabet of cypresses and sea-light,” thus transmuting Espriu’s elegiac voice into Cassells’s own."
"At this particular darkening hour in Europe, we are graced by Cyrus Cassells's homage to Salvador Espriu. A survivor of Spain’s civil war, who then became an internal émigré, Espriu intimately knew the cost of war and destruction. In exquisite, moving poems such as Sinera Cemetery, masterfully rendered by Cassells, we encounter Espriu’s grieved, but resolute, fortitude: 'Liberty, the enduring word I utter time and again/between ancient boundaries/of vineyards and the sea.' Cassells's dialogue with Espriu is a gift, an enactment of the sacred pledge to uphold, against all odds, the 'enduring word.'"
—Ellen Hinsey, author of The Illegal Age and Update on the Descent
"To the Cypress Again and Again: Tribute to Salvador Espriu is a triumph of affinities, a testament to a translator’s steady, slow-burning attention to a poet’s work—and to the rich metamorphoses sparked by such devotion. These charged, luminous translations exalt Espriu’s stark lyrics; not just accompanying but also communicating with them, Cassells’s own poems are contemplative and ecstatic. Every translation is a conversation, and I’m grateful for this book as an example of both how and why."
--Robin Myers, translator of Copy by Dolores Dorantes and Another Life by Daniel Lipara
About the Author
Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press