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Penelope Fitzgerald


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Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Verde que te quiero verde

García Lorca's poetry (in snippets) makes Sylvia giggle. We're sitting together, I'm skipping around reading some of his lines in Spanish while she looks at the Spanish and at the translation, identifying some words she knows (verde, caballo, negro...) and putting forth silly interpretations for the lines and groups of lines.

Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
"But why would someone's eyes be cold?..." (Note: I just found a pretty sweet flamenco version of this poem, "Romance Sonambulo", on Spanish TV.)
Los caballos negros son
Las herraduras son negras
Leads to lots of talk about black horses.
La aurora de Nueva York tiene
cuatro columnas de cieno
y un huracán de negras palomas
que chapotean las aguas podridas.
"That means four of the five boroughs have mud, and one out of five has black doves and water -- birds from the other four have to go to that one to get water." (And wow! there are just a ton of García Lorca-inspired performances on YouTube. Here is an Andalusian jazz ballet interpretation of "Aurora de Nueva York.")

She is very taken with "cieno", which is translated in a subsequent poem as "slime", and here as "mud". "If they're talking about four boroughs, it means mud, if they talk about one it means slime."

Also:

La aurora de Nueva York gime
Por las inmensas escaleras
buscando entre las aristes
nardos de anguistia dibujada
"That means four of the five boroughs have stairways. I want to be in the one with elevators."

posted morning of February 15th, 2009: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

I am curious about this translation

From García Lorca's "Ansia de Estatua",

Rumor.
Aunque no quede más que el rumor.

Aroma.
Aunque no quede más que el aroma.
is translated (in New Directions' 1955 Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca, various translators) as:
Rumor.
Though nothing may remain but the rumor.

Odor.
Though nothing may remain but the odor.

It seems strange to me not to use "aroma" to translate "aroma", keeping the look of the poem closer to the original. A possible objection is that "aroma" in English connotes a pleasant smell, I'm not sure it does in Spanish; but by the same token, "odor" connotes an unpleasant smell -- if I were looking for a neutral term I would use "scent".

The rest of this sweet, sweet poem is below the fold.

posted morning of February 15th, 2009: 2 responses
➳ More posts about Translation

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Menassa lee García Lorca

Clémence Loonis (cuya lectura de Altazor me ha encantado) ha filmado el poeta Miguel Oscar Menassa recitando varios poemas de García Lorca:

posted evening of August 16th, 2011: 2 responses
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