This essential poet came from Oviedo, where he was born in 1925. His family was deeply affected by the political conflicts that led to the Spanish Civil War; He lost a brother, another one was exiled and his sister was vetoed to serve as a teacher. This situation and the sequelae of tuberculosis which he suffered –he assiduously read poetry during this convalescence– shaped his work, of a strongly social, urban and critical content, and also with a characteristical optimistic intimacy.
He studied Law in Oviedo, and courses at the Official School of Journalism in Madrid, and applied for a position as an official in the Ministry of Public Works. He took a leave of absence to travel to Barcelona and met poets like Barral, Gil de Viedma and Goytisolo, and soon after published his first book, ‘A Rough World’. Back in Madrid, he began meeting other writers, like Garcia Hortelano, Celaya or Caballero Bonald. Along with some of them he is made part of the Generation of 50s. Among his works we can highlight ‘Without hope, With Conviction’, ‘Elementary Grade’, ‘Autumn and Other Lights’ and ‘Word by Word’. For his books he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature in 1991, among other acknowledgements.
He died in 2008.
Ángel González’s thoughts… (Free and unofficial translation)
To live a year we often need to die a lot much.
My heart, your nest. Bite into it, my hope.
Life is where I put the fire of my overturned and no-exit passion.
I put my life at stake, and I lose, then I start over again, lifeless, another match.
If I were God and had the secret, I would make someone who’d be exactly like you.
When time changes my structure, and my body is another, another my blood, my eye different and my hair not the same, I think of you, maybe. Surely, my successive bodies, keeping me on alive, living, to death, will be passed on from hand to hand, from heart to heart, from flesh to flesh, and the mysterious element that determines my sadness when you leave, that drives me to get you blindly, that brings me to your side hopelessly: what people call love, in short.
None was as beautiful as you for that fleeting moment I loved you: my whole life.
When you have money, just give me a ring, when you have nothing give me the corner of your mouth, if you do not know what to do come with me, but do not say you do not know what you are doing.
Long is art; Short is life, cut like a knife.
They call you soon-to-be because you are never here.
Poetry enriches thought and soul. I invite you all to feel it and to practice it.
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