Poetry

¡Felicidades Rosalía!

The 24th of February 1837, Rosalía de Castro, the famous Galician poet, was born in Santiago de Compostela. To honour her I’d like to share with you one of her poems from the bundle Cantares Gallegos.

Fun un domingo, fun pola tarde

Fun un domingo, fun pola tarde,
co sol que baixa tras dos pinares,
cas nubes brancas sombra dos ánxeles,
cas palomiñas que as alas baten,
con un batido manso e suave,
atravesando vagos celaxes,
mundos extraños que en raios parten
ricos tesouros de ouro e diamante.

Pasín os montes, montes e valles,
pasín llanuras e soledades;
pasín os regos, pasín os mares,
con pés enxoitos e sin cansarme.

Colleume a noite, noite brillante,
cunha luniña feitas de xaspes,
e fun con ela camiño adiante,
cas estreliñas para guiarme,
que aquel camiño solo elas saben.

Dempois a aurora co seu sembrante
feito de rosas veu a alumbrarme,
e vin estonces, antre o ramaxe
de olmos e pinos, acobexarse
branca casiña con palomare,
donde as pombiñas entran e saien.

Nela se escoitan doces cantares,
nela garulan mozos galantes
cas rapaciñas de outros lugares.
Todo é contento, todo é folgare,
mentras a pedra bate que bate,
mole que mole, dálle que dálle,
con lindo gusto faille compases.

Non hai sitiño que máis me agrade
que aquel muíño dos castañares,
donde hai meniñas, donde hai rapaces,
que ricamente saben loitare;
donde rechinan hasta cansarse
mozos e vellos, nenos e grandes,
e anque non queren que aló me baixe,
sin que o soupera na casa naide,
fun ó muíño do meu compadre;
fun polo vento, vin polo aire.

English translation (found here)

I went on a Sunday, I went during the afternoon
With the sun that goes down behind the stands of pine,
With the white clouds, sunshade of the angels,
With the darling doves that flap their wings
With an easy and gentle flutter
Traversing dim, dappled skies—
Alien worlds that part into beams
Rich treasures of gold and diamond.

I crossed the hills, hills and valleys,
I crossed plains and moors;
I crossed the rills, I crossed the seas
With dry feet and untiring.

Nightfall caught up with me—brilliant night
With a bright moon made of jasper—
And I went down the trail with her,
With the twinkling stars to guide me
For they alone know that route.

Afterward the dawn with her semblance
Made of roses came to give me light
And I saw then through the foliage
Of elms and pines, snuggled away,
Precious white house with pigeon loft
Where the darling doves go in and out.

Sweet songs are heard within it;
Gallant lads revel inside it
With the lassies of roundabout places.
All is gladness, all is leisure
While the stone that slams and slams,
Grinds and grinds, knocks and knocks,
Plays rhythms to it with a lovely taste.

There is no cuddly place that pleases me more
Than that water mill in the chestnut forest
Where there are lassies, where there are boys
Who richly know how to spar,
Where grate until they tire
Young and old, children and grownups,
And although they don’t want me to go down there,
Without anyone in the house being aware
I went to the mill of my child’s godfather,
I went riding the wind, I came riding the air.

The last two lines are borrowed from a folklore song called Pousa. The mill (muiño) lent its name to the popular dance muiñeira (a jig), although in recent version of Pousa they sing of a taberna (a pub), which of course nowadays is a more common place to get together and have fun.

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12 months

This weekend on the train, I overheard a little boy trying to recite a poem about the 12 months. He didn’t remember all of it, but it sounded really cute. So I looked it up, and am glad to share it with you, in case any of you understand Dutch.

Die gekke juffrouw Boggemog

Die gekke juffrouw Boggemog!
In januari slaapt ze nog.

In februari staat ze op
en doet haar wasje in het sop.

In maart doet zij haar jasje aan
om even naar de markt te gaan.

En als zij thuis komt in april
dan blijft het weer een poosje stil.

En in de mooie maand van mei
dan springt ze touwtje in de wei.

In juni heeft ze nog geen haast,
dan praat ze met meneer hiernaast.

In juli speelt ze met haar kat
en gaat met één voet in het bad.

En in augustus als het moet,
dan wast zij ook haar andere voet.

Maar in september wordt het druk,
dan scheurt zij de kalender stuk.

In een café, rond half oktober
vraagt zij één koffie aan de ober.

En in november drinkt zij ‘t op
en haalt haar wasje uit het sop.

En in december slaapt zij in
met een deken tot aan haar kin.

En iedereen zegt : ” Och, och, och, die gekke juffrouw Boggemog.

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