I listened to Librivox’s first collection of Spanish poetry last night, even though I have very little Spanish. Mostly to hear the way the language fits together, and to feel the cadence of their speech. I especially liked one poem on first listen, Manuel Acuña’s Nocturno a Rosario (mp3). The translation doesn’t impress me—though, to be clear, I don’t mean the quality of the translation, which I can’t judge, and I certainly don’t mean to impugn the skills of long dead Ernest S. Green, nor his translating partner Harriet Von Lowenfels; I mean his actual subject matter—but I like the original’s rhythm enough to pardon the rest. He lived from 1849–1873, so I cut him some slack: it was a sentimental century.
(Too, he killed himself after writing it, so there’s that added weight.)
For your convenience, since I can’t find the English and Spanish side-by-side, or formatted in a readable way, I’ve included the poem below:
|Nocturn to Rosario
Well, then, I am compelled
Nocturno a Rosario
Pues bien, yo necesito