The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

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Jean Fournell
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The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:44 am

La casada infiel

Y que yo me la llevé al río
creyendo que era mozuela,
pero tenía marido.

Fue la noche de Santiago
y casi por compromiso.
Se apagaron los faroles
y se encendieron los grillos.
En las últimas esquinas
toqué sus pechos dormidos,
y se me abrieron de pronto
como ramos de jacintos.
El almidón de su enagua
me sonaba en el oído,
como una pieza de seda
rasgada por diez cuchillos.
Sin luz de plata en sus copas
los árboles han crecido,
y un horizonte de perros
ladra muy lejos del río.

Pasadas las zarzamoras,
los juncos y los espinos,
bajo su mata de pelo
hice un hoyo sobre el limo.
Yo me quité la corbata.
Ella se quitó el vestido.
Yo el cinturón con revólver.
Ella sus cuatro corpiños.
Ni nardos ni caracolas
tienen el cutis tan fino,
ni los cristales con luna
relumbran con ese brillo.
Sus muslos se me escapaban
como peces sorprendidos,
la mitad llenos de lumbre,
la mitad llenos de frío.
Aquella noche corrí
el mejor de los caminos,
montado en potra de nácar
sin bridas y sin estribos.
No quiero decir, por hombre,
las cosas que ella me dijo.
La luz del entendimiento
me hace ser muy comedido.
Sucia de besos y arena
yo me la llevé del río.
Con el aire se batían
las espadas de los lirios.

Me porté como quien soy.
Como un gitano legítimo.
Le regalé un costurero
grande de raso pajizo,
y no quise enamorarme
porque teniendo marido
me dijo que era mozuela
cuando la llevaba al río.


The unfaithful wife

And that me, I took her off to the river,
believing that she was a maiden,
when in fact she had a husband!

It was on the Night of Santiago,
and almost by obligation.
The lantern lights were going out then
and the crickets inflamed each other.
By the very farthest corners
I touched her breasts, as yet sleeping,
and they opened up to me promptly
like the racemes of hyacinths.
The rustling starch of her petticoat,
it resounded in my own hearing
as though a piece of silken fabric
by ten knives were cut into tatters.
With no silver light on their top twigs
the trees have grown a lot taller,
and of distant dogs a horizon
is barking far from the river.

Having passed the blackberry brambles,
the reed-grasses and the hawthorns,
under the hairs of her thicket
I made a hole in the silt mud.
I rid myself of my neck-tie.
She rid herself of her costume.
I of my belt and revolver.
She of all her four bodices.
No seashells, no tuberoses
have so smooth a complexion,
nor does the moonlight make crystals
shine with so dazzling a radiance.
Her thighs moved from me ever farther
like schools of startled fishes,
one half of them full of fire,
one half of them full of freezing.
It was that night that I came
the very best of all pathways,
mounted on a filly of nacre,
with no bridles and no stirrups.
I won't, as a man, repeat them,
the things which she said for me only.
The light of this our understanding
restrains me to lots of discretion.
Soiled she was with sand and with kisses
I took her off from the river.
With the breeze there was a-battling
every sword of every iris.

I behaved as who I am.
As a real gypsy, undoubtedly.
I treated her to a sewing basket,
big, lined with straw-coloured satin;
and I wouldn't become enamoured
because, while having a husband,
she told me that she was a maiden
when I took her down to the river.


Notes:
Federico García Lorca wrote this romance between 1924 and 1927. It was published in his 1928 "Romancero gitano" (Gypsy Ballad-book).
Santiago, one of Jesus' twelve disciples (also known as San Diego, Sanctus Iacobus, Saint Jacob, Saint James, James the Great), is the patron saint of Spain. His saint's day (and night…) is celebrated on the 25th of July.
In S3L17, the intentional double entendre of the Spanish "corrí" would be lost in a word-by-word translation such as I ran.
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Mabeanie1
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Re: The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:04 pm

Thank you for posting the original text (and translation) Jean. I am looking forward to reading it when I've got time to sit down and concentrate on the Spanish language.

Wendy
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Jean Fournell
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Location: Provence

Re: The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:34 pm

You're welcome, Wendy.
I hope I didn't produce too much of a cock-up trying to translate this superb romance.
It's just an attempt at learning English; and my Spanish is not actually worth mentioning.
But the effort generally leads to some better understanding hopefully not only for me…
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Hartmut
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Hartmut » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:34 pm

Jean Fournell wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:34 pm
You're welcome, Wendy.
I hope I didn't produce too much of a cock-up trying to translate this superb romance.
I didn't realise this was your translation. Well done!
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Jean Fournell
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:29 pm

Thanks, Hartmut.

(But then I would never quote somebody else's stuff without giving due credit or apologising in case I don't know the author.
The second and third part of my signature are the only exceptions, hoping that everybody here immediately recognises them.)
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: The unfaithful wife — Federico García Lorca

Postby Jean Fournell » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:12 pm

Here a reading of "La casada infiel" with S3L18 "… mis caminos" (my pathways):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94-YZobk-ag

And here a reading of the entire "Romancero gitano":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhuFqZ6eePY
"La casada infiel" is the sixth romance with S4L3 "La regalé…".
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)

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