Juan Antonio Villacañas

Spanish poet, essayist and critic (1922-2001)

Juan Antonio Villacañas (1922 in Toledo – August 21, 2001) was a Spanish poet, essayist and critic.

Juan Antonio Villacañas


  • The earth is brief,
    as brief as a man’s solemnity.
    When you, Earth, stop palpitating in my flesh
    I, flesh, will give you all my earth.
    • “The Earth and I”, from De-triumphant March (1960)
  • Death is a life of questions
    that are being buried,
    and one ends always
    with doubt tangled in the lips.
    • “Epilogue”, from De-triumphant March (1960)
  • God borders my incredulity
    And my incredulity is so much God, that I am almost sure
    to adore Him.
    • “Revolt of a Newborn”, from Revolt of a Newborn (1973)
  • I have an immensity which shivers in the oceans,
    being, as I am, only a little fountain, small as an eye.
    • “Fountain”, from Revolt of a Newborn (1973)
  • I come to make song, after the tears.
    And even if a choir of men
    sprayed my tongue with silence,
    poetry will come, with liberating voice,
    to make my song fall from the trees
    and reach the most deeply buried abysses of those tears
    that the child lent me when crying himself into life.

    Because my infant song
    is stronger than man’s tears,
    and it could even conquer me
    robbing the need of tears from the sun and the wind.

    • "New Songs for After the Tears", from Revolt of a Newborn (1973)
  • If pain does not die
    we shall make it poetry.
    • From Sublimation of Disobedience (1998)
  • Thought
    is a flower from other worlds, a tale
    that is torn in each written word.

    I go outdoors
    to give rest
    to the soul’s tired muscles.

    • “Literaturaliae”, from Theme of My Biography (2000)

Quotes about Juan Antonio VillacañasEdit

  • Whether Villacañas wrote in liras, free verse or whatever form, his poetry constantly springs from a profound search for transcendence and a concern from humanity that can make him to be at once social and spiritual. The vigour of his verses gives them quite often a muscular quality which appears equally in his most earthy poems of indictment or solidarity and in those in which he looks for God, suffers His silence or talks to Him.
    • Michael Smith. Introduction to Juan Antonio Villacañas: Selected Poems. Shearsman Books, Exeter. United Kingdom, 2009.
  • But Juan Antonio Villacañas was more than a social poet, or a poet of the universe or a religious poet, or a poet of human themes, or a poet of love. Villacañas, apart from being a generous person, cordial, a poet in the deepest sense of the word, he is, above all, a poet of all times, a poet of yesterday, a poet of tomorrow. A poet who, in life, despite prizes and triumphs, did not get the recognition that other inferior poets had. Especially during his last years “critics” turned their back to him. But he remained faithful to that which was his passion. Poetry, a poetry that has the flow of a river, the serenity of an autumn day, the light that must be in the look of God.
    • Hilario Barrero. “LOS POETAS”. REVISTA POÉTICA ALMACÉN. LIBRO DE NOTAS. Also: Introduction to Juan Antonio Villacañas: Selected Poems. Shearsman Books, Exeter. United Kingdom, 2009.

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