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Federico Garcia Lorca; The Unfaithful Wife

 
 
kenji
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 09:27 am
FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA: THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE

So I took her to the river
believing she was a maiden,
but she already had a husband.
It was on St. James night
and almost as if I was obliged to.
The lanterns went out
and the crickets lighted up.
In the farthest street corners
I touched her sleeping breasts
and they opened to me suddenly
like spikes of hyacinth.
The starch of her petticoat
sounded in my ears
like a piece of silk
rent by ten knives.
Without silver light on their foliage
the trees had grown larger
and a horizon of dogs
barked very far from the river.

Past the blackberries,
the reeds and the hawthorne
underneath her cluster of hair
I made a hollow in the earth
I took off my tie,
she too off her dress.
I, my belt with the revolver,
She, her four bodices.
Nor nard nor mother-o?pearl
have skin so fine,
nor does glass with silver
shine with such brilliance.
Her thighs slipped away from me
like startled fish,
half full of fire,
half full of cold.
That night I ran
on the best of roads
mounted on a nacre mare
without bridle stirrups.

As a man, I won’t repeat
the things she said to me.
The light of understanding
has made me more discreet.
Smeared with sand and kisses
I took her away from the river.
The swords of the lilies
battled with the air.

I behaved like what I am,
like a proper gypsy.
I gave her a large sewing basket,
of straw-colored satin,
but I did not fall in love
for although she had a husband
she told me she was a maiden
when I took her to the river.

(Spanish- Translation)

Lorca was executed by the Fascists in the Spanish civil war.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 01:04 pm
Y yo que me la llevé al río
creyendo que era mozuela,
pero tenía marido.
Fue la noche de Santiago
y casi por compromiso.
Se apagaron los faroles
y se encendieron los grillos.
En las últimas esquinas
toqué sus pechos dormidos,
y se me abrieron de pronto
como ramos de jacintos.
El almidón de su enagua
me sonaba en el oído,
como una pieza de seda
rasgada por diez cuchillos.
Sin luz de plata en sus copas
los árboles han crecido
y un horizonte de perros
ladra muy lejos del río.


Pasadas las zarzamoras,
los juncos y los espinos,
bajo su mata de pelo
hice un hoyo sobre el limo.
Yo me quité la corbata.
Ella se quitó el vestido.
Yo el cinturón con revólver.
Ella sus cuatro corpiños.
Ni nardos ni caracolas
tienen el cutis tan fino,
ni los cristales con luna
relumbran con ese brillo.
Sus muslos se me escapaban
como peces sorprendidos,
la mitad llenos de lumbre,
la mitad llenos de frío.
Aquella noche corrí
el mejor de los caminos,
montado en potra de nácar
sin bridas y sin estribos.
No quiero decir, por hombre,
las cosas que ella me dijo.
La luz del entendimiento
me hace ser muy comedido.
Sucia de besos y arena
yo me la llevé del río.
Con el aire se batían
las espadas de los lirios.

Me porté como quién soy.
Como un gitano legítimo.
La regalé un costurero
grande, de raso pajizo,
y no quise enamorarme
porque teniendo marido
me dijo que era mozuela
cuando la llevaba al río.

------
A Classic.
I remember when I was a teenager, we used to mock this, and other of Lorca's poems:

"Y yo que me la llevé al río,
creyendo que se ahogaría.
Pero caramba, caramba,
nadaba como Spitz la tía".

So I took her to the river,
believing that she would drown,
but damn it, damn it,
the girl swam like Spitz.
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kenji
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 10:18 am
I take it your little band of Spanish speakers (brought up speaking the language or just all unusually literate linguists?) in your teenage years was not long after the Munich olympics in '72?

I'm afraid my Spanish is very limited, though i do have the originals as well as the translations in my Lorca book. Ballad of the Civil Guard is another favourite.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 11:20 am
fbaezer
Seasoned Member
Joined: 28 Oct 2002
Posts: 1900
Location: Mexico City Very Happy
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drom et reve
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 11:29 am
I love Lorca... (and your satire)... the first one that I remember is this...

La luna vino a la fragua
con su polisón de nardos.
El niño la mira mira.
El niño la está mirando.

En el aire conmovido
mueve la luna sus brazos
y enseña, lúbrica y pura,
sus senos de duro estaño.

Huye luna, luna, luna.
Si vinieran los gitanos,
harían con tu corazón
collares y anillos blancos.

Niño déjame que baile.
Cuando vengan los gitanos,
te encontrarán sobre el yunque
con los ojillos cerrados.

Huye luna, luna, luna,
que ya siento sus caballos.
Niño déjame, no pises,
mi blancor almidonado.

El jinete se acercaba
tocando el tambor del llano.
Dentro de la fragua el niño,
tiene los ojos cerrados.

Por el olivar venían,
bronce y sueño, los gitanos.
Las cabezas levantadas
y los ojos entornados.

¡Cómo canta la zumaya,
ay como canta en el árbol!
Por el cielo va la luna
con el niño de la mano.

Dentro de la fragua lloran,
dando gritos, los gitanos.
El aire la vela, vela.
el aire la está velando.

I love it.

I suppose that he could have thought you to be an ex-pat.

0 Replies
 
kenji
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 11:33 am
Ah yes, fbaezer location Mexico City. Had i noticed it, (must have been blind not to) that might have been a clue!
0 Replies
 
 

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