Carmen Conde is a major figure in twentieth-century Spanish poetry. Though neglected up to now, Mientras los hombres mueren is the most important collection of war poetry to emerge from the Spanish Civil War. It was first published, in a limited edition, in Italy in 1953. Though it has been included in its entirety in anthologies of her work published in Spain in 1967, 1986 and 2007, this is the first free-standing edition since 1953 and the first ever critical edition.
The collection was written in 1938-39, in Valencia, then the seat of the Republican Government. In prose poetry densely packed with imagery of nightmarish destruction, Conde gives voice to the experience of women and children suffering bombardment from air and sea, hunger and homelessness, and the loss of husbands, brothers and fathers at the front. The second half of the collection, 'A los ni os muertos en la guerra', is an extended elegy for all those children killed in bombing raids during the war.
This edition will be of interest to students and scholars of the Civil War and lovers of Spanish poetry in general.