Friday, April 27, 2018

Federico García Lorca, 'Poet in Spain' (2017): Part I

¡Ved qué locura! ~ Isn't it wild? Last night, I finished reading Sarah Arvio's new Spanish-to-English translations in the bilingual Federico García Lorca, Poet in Spain (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017). Spanish is on the left of the main body of text, English on the right. Fun and fascinating in the sun or under the moon or even by electric light, it is. 

Arvio has chosen representative samples of Lorca's Spanish poetry and his play, Bodas de sangre / Blood Wedding (1932). His New York City poems are not included.

Things that popped out at me follow. He makes it seems so simple.

Imagery in"Claro de reloj" / "Space in the Clock" -- "where the stars / struck the twelve floating / black numbers" (page 3).

First and last line of "Pan:" 
"¡Ved qué locura!" that Arvio translates as "How wild!" (pages 12-13). Machine translation: "See what madness!"

From "Serentata:"
Lolita lava su cuerp / con agua salobre y nardos (page 24) =
Lolita washes her body / with white nard and brine" (page 25).

What, pray tell (I thought upon first reading), is nardos / nard in this context? Apparently, Spikenard, incidentally a part of the heraldry of Pope Francis, a flowering plant that has a Phoenician trace as "Indian narde," originating in the Himalayas. 
Nardostachys jatamansi / Nard
Lorca likes the word and the image.  

From "Segungo aniversario" / "Second Anniversary:"

"Oh you alone  wandering / in the last room of the night" (pages 48-49).

This is cool, from "Nocturnos de la ventna" / "Window Nocturnes:"

"Los instantes heridos / por el reloj . . . pasaban" 
"The moments wounded / by the clock -- went by --"   (pages 70-71). 

I'll aim to wrap this up in the next post.

Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune. Illustration of nardo: Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) - Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Vol. 107, series 3, number 37, table 6564. Wiki Commons. 


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