According to most recent scholarship, César Vallejo appears to have written five books of poetry. The first two, Los heraldos negros (1918) and Trilce (1922), were published in Perú during his lifetime. The latter three first appeared in 1939, the year after the poet’s death, in an edition of two hundred and fifty copies edited by the poet’s widow and her friend, the historian Raúl Porra Barrenechea. Published in Paris by Georgette Vallejo herself, the first edition of the posthumous poetry bore the title Poemas humanos, and contained 108 poems, approximately half of which were dated in the fall of 1937 and half of which were not dated. The collection seemed to be without any conscious order, except for the last fifteen poems under the title España, aparta de mí este cáliz. It is now known that Vallejo worked feverishly on his poetry during the last months of his Jife, but was able only to complete a final draft of the complete text of España, aparta de mí este cáliz, a copy of which was sent to Spain for publication. The edition was to be under the care of the Spanish poet Emilio Prados and published by a cultural unit attached to the Loyalist army at the Aragón front. The book was printed in September 1938, but could not be bound and distributed, and not a single copy survived the defeat of the Spanish Republic a few months later. On February 9, 1940, España, aparta de mí este cáliz was published in México, by Editorial Séneca, under the care of the same Emilio Prados, with some preliminarv words by Juan Larrea entitled “Profecía de América” and a portrait in ink of Vallejo by Picasso.
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