Rhina Espaillat. A Critical Analysis
The combination of a disciplined bilingual background, a superior knack for metaphor, an ear for musical language, and a strong command of versification has produced in Rhina Espaillat an uncommonly perceptive and communicative poet and an exceptionally agile translator. Her translations of English and Spanish verse are graceful , organic viaducts between the two languages; her own poetry connects personal subjects to universal themes with balanced, womanly wit. Robert B. Shaw characterizes her most memorable poems as "triumphs of good nature" with an absence of "self importance" (Poetry 180.6). "I'm after the meaningful ordinary," she told William Baer in 2011. "I'm after the ordinary that everyone else can understand and that can serve as a bridge between my life and everybody else's" (Measure 6.2).