Agustí Bartra (Barcelona, 1908 - Terrassa, 1982) was a poet, novelist, translator and playwright, one of several writers who had to go into exile because of the Spanish Civil War. In 1940, with the writer Anna Murià, he settled in Mexico where he worked as a translator. During this period he received grants that enabled him to make several trips to the United States, which he combined with intense literary activity, producing for example Antologia de la lírica nord-americana (Anthology of American Poetry, 1951). He returned to Catalonia in 1970 and went to live in Terrassa. Outstanding among his works are the novel Crist de 200.000 braços (Christ of 200,000 Arms, 1968) in which he describes the collective experience of the concentration camps, and his book of poems entitled Ecce homo (1968), which reflects his personal cosmology through the four elements: earth, fire, air and water.
Bartra's poetry has traditionally been compared with that of Walt Whitman, but he also followed in the footsteps of German Romantic poets such as Novalis, Hölderlin and Rilke. The Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia rendered homage to Bartra and his work by awarding him the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross).
Web page: Xavier Gual for AELC.
Up-date: Nausica Solà.
Translation: Julie Wark.