My grandfather is the most fluent Spanish speaker in the family. He learned the language through decades of farming. While I enjoy gardening, I have no plans to become a commercial farmer, so I decided upon another--and more romantic--way in which to improve my Spanish. I read Spanish poetry. Allow me to qualify that statement: I read Spanish poetry with English translations juxtaposed on the other page. While I still must supplement the Spanish with the English, each poem provides a little victory as I need the English version less and less. I am incredibly far from fluency, but at least when I’m there, I’ll sound like a poet.
Below are some of my favorite poets whose works are conveniently available in Spanish/English editions.
Mario Benedetti’s Little Stones at My Window/Piedritas en la Ventana
Roberto Bolano’s The Romantic Dogs
Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Verse
Pablo Neruda’s Ceremonial Songs
Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verse