Romancerso gitanos - lorca

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  • Publicado : 15 de marzo de 2011
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Draft 2
Romanceros Gitanos – Lorca

I first came across these poems in settings of a few of them by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for small choir and guitar. When I performed them as a member of the choir I did not know any Spanish and I and most of the choir learnt the pronunciation by rote. There was no translation into English in the copies and we had only a sketchy idea of their meaning. Ithas therefore been fascinating for me to try and produce a translation which conveys the sense and atmosphere of the poems rather than a straight literal interpretation of the words. I have also in the blank verse version attempted to produce one which scans identically with the original and in fact could be sung to the Castelnuovo-Tedesco music.

One valuable source of information of thepossible double or treble meanings of Spanish words was the Royal Spanish Academy web-site. For instance it gives “arena” as meaning more than sand; it has the additional connotations of the bull-ring or gladiatorial arena. “Blanco” as well as meaning white can also mean a pause or a space and even the half-light period between night and sun-rise. “Flecha” can refer to the hand of a clock.

I haveagonised over the translation of “callarla”. Silence seems too prosaic, I tried quieten, stifle, mute but feel that suppress conveys more of the effort to stop or shut out the guitar’s playing.


La Guitarra The Guitar
Straight Translation
The Guitar
Blank Verse
Empieza el llanto
de la guitarra.
Se rompen las copas
de la madrugada.
Empieza el llanto
de la guitarra.
Es inútil callarla.Es imposible callarla.

Llora monótona
como llora el agua,
como llora el viento
sobre la nevada.
Es imposible callarla.

Llora por cosas lejanas.
Arena del Sur caliente
que pide camelias blancas.
Llora flecha sin blanco,
la tarde sin mañana,
y el primer pájaro muerto
sobre la rama.

¡Oh, guitarra!
Corazón malherido
por cinco espadas.
The weeping of the guitar begins.
The(wine) glasses of early morning are broken (finished).
The weeping of the guitar begins.
It’s futile to silence it.
It’s impossible to silence it.

It weeps monotonously
as water weeps,
as the wind weeps over the snowfall.
It’s impossible to silence it.

It weeps for distant things.
The sand of the warm South which asks for white camellias.
The arrow weeps without colour,
the eveningwithout morning,
and the first bird dead on the branch.

Oh! Guitar
Heart badly injured
By five swords. So now begins the weeping of the guitar.
The wine glasses are shattered in the early hours.
So now begins the weeping of the guitar.
It’s futile to suppress it.
Impossible to suppress it.

Weeps in a monotone
in the way water weeps,
in the way the wind weeps over fallen snow.
Impossibleto suppress it.

It is weeping for the far off.
The sand of the sun-drenched south country
that begs for white camellias.
Time’s arrow weeps unbroken,
the evening with no morning,
and the first bird lifeless
upon the branch.

Oh! The guitar!
With a heart sorely wounded
cut by five slashing swords,



In “Baile” I have tried to convey the tight-lipped disapproval of the women ofSeville of Carmen who is or has been popular with the men.

Baile
Dance
Straight Translation Dance
Blank Verse
La Carmen está bailando
por las calles de Sevilla.
Tiene blancos los cabellos
y brillantes las pupilas.

¡Niñas,
corred las cortinas!

En su cabeza se enrosca
una serpiente amarilla,
y va soñando en el baile
con galanes de otros días.

¡Niñas,
corred las cortinas!Las calles están desiertas
y en los fondos se adivinan,
corazones andaluces
buscando viejas espinas.

¡Niñas,
corred las cortinas!
The Carmen is dancing
through the streets of Seville.
She has white-tipped hair and sparkling pupils.

Little girls,
Close the curtains!

On her head is coiled a yellow snake,
and she goes along dreaming while dancing
of former beaux.

Little...
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