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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mil caballitos persas

I would like to share this part of Frederico Garcia Lorca's 'Gacela del Amor Imprevisto' as a Saturday afternoon greeting to anyone who might stumble upon this blog accidentally.

Nadie comprendía el perfume
de la oscura magnolia de tu vientre.
Nadie sabía que martirizabas
un colibrí de amor entre los dientes.

Mil caballitos persas se dormían
en la plaza con luna de tu frente,
mientras que yo enlazaba cuatro noches
tu cintura, enemiga de la nieve.

Of course, one needs to be able to read Spanish but I will also try to make an impromptu translation.

No one understood the magnolia-scented
perfume of your belly
No one knew that you tortured
a colibri of love between your teeth.

A thousand persian horsemen fell asleep
on the moon-lit square of your forehead
while I was hugging for four nights
your waist - enemy of the snow.

(sorry, rules of poetry are not kept)

I find these two verses a strike of genius. Lucky woman who served as an inspiration to Lorca. And just see how he managed to convey (and to link) so simply the mystery of Granada nights (magnolia-scented) and the beauty of her body; their relationship, far from easy (tortured the colibri of love) and yet tender (colibri) and again her beauty; the calmness she gave him (the 1000 horsemen falling asleep on your forehead) but at the same time the passion she stirred in him (waist - enemy of snow). Isn't this juxtaposition of calmness and passion beautiful and a characteristic of any love worth mentioning? And in the end - what an metaphor of her burning body - enemy of snow!

There is only one problem: Lorca, they say, was a homosexual.


Elitza said...

Beautiful and tender!

Ruslan said...

Zdrasti, kjuftentse! Kak si? Haide da napravish edno tripce na studentite do Budapesta. Ste gi zavedem na banja s teljak!

Jo said...

Maybe the inspiration for the poem was a man. It's a beautiful poem about love, and if Lorca was a homosexual, his muse may have been his lover.

Now that you have translated, it's nice to read it in the original Spanish, and I can understand.

Thank you for sharing this.

You have a fabulous blog, by the way!

Merisi said...

Exquisite poetry, thank you for sharing it with us!

Whatever Lorca's sexual orientation, he knew about love!

Jelica said...

Actually, it is not possible to infer from the poem itself whether the muse was a woman or man. At least it seems to me that he is not using any adjectives which would disclose the gender of the amorous subject--but then, I don't speak Spanish and might be wrong. It's a beautiful poem regardless.