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Monday, September 05, 2005

Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (Lorca)

[Update: This entry gets a lot of hits and the four-part recording below is not great, so here's a better audio version of the poem that I've done all in one piece: Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias audiofile (12:33).]

Federico García Lorca's lament for his dead friend, Ignacio Sanchez Mejias, is a long four part poem. Too long for me to do in one audiopost since audioblogger's limit for each post is five minutes. The translation I'm reading (text can be found here) is W. S. Merwin's.
I don't agree with all of Merwin's decisions. For instance, in part 2, I might have translated y como un torso de mármol / su dibujada prudencia as "and like a marble torso / his fluid caution" rather than as "and like a marble torso / his well drawn moderation." Not as faithful to the letter of the Spanish as Merwin but more faithful to the spirit of the poem, I think. But really, that's a quibble I have no right making until I get around to doing a full translation of my own. Merwin's version is damn good.



Here's the poem.

Part 1
this is an audio post - click to play

Part 2

this is an audio post - click to play

Part 3

this is an audio post - click to play

Part 4

this is an audio post - click to play

4 comments:

Brenda Schmidt said...

That's a gorgeous poem.

Humble Servant said...

"The rest was death, and death alone."

That's rather similar to the Neruda poem--either "Nothing but Death," or "Only Death," depending on translation.

We could probably do, therefore:

"The rest was death, and nothing but death;" or

"The rest was death,and only death."

MackJohnny said...

The rest was death, and only death.

Yes, I definitely like both the sound and and the rhythm of that better than "The rest was death, and death alone."

Yeah, I might have to do something about this poem.

Wheelock Sapphire said...

I think, "The rest was death, and death only" or "and only death" sounds more forceful than "and death alone." This is, after all, an outcry and a raving against the death of the bull fighter.

Although, I must admit, that I stand with the bull, "corazon arriba!" I saw the ignominy of the bull fight in the Plaza de Toros in Madrid at the tender age of seven; and when I saw the cruelty and the unfairness of it all, I was cheering for the bull, even then.

David.