Friday, February 27, 2015

Poetry Review Special Feature: "Cuando entre la Sombra Oscura" by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, translated by the Editor

The following translation was first published in Silver Blade just over one year ago.  My thanks to Sra. Catalano for making me ponga atencion in high school Spanish class.

Cuando entre la Sombra Oscura                 When the Dark Shadow Falls

Cuando entre la sombra oscura                        When the dark shadow falls
perdida una voz murmura                                 a disoriented voice murmurs
turbando su triste calma,                                   disturbing your sad calm,
si en el fondo de mi alma                                  if in the core of my being
la oigo dulce resonar,                                        I hear the sweetness resonate,

Dime: ¿es que el viento en sus giros                 Tell me: is it that the swirling wind
se queja, o que tus suspiros                               complains, or is it your sighs that
me hablan de amor al pasar?                             talk to me of love?

Cuando el sol en mi ventana                             When the sun in my window
rojo brilla a la mañana                                       shining red in the morning
y mi amor tu sombra evoca,                              and my love evokes your shade,
si en mi boca de otra boca                                 if in my mouth of another mouth
sentir creo la impresión,                                    I believe I feel the impression,

Dime: ¿es que ciego deliro,                               Tell me: is it that I am delirious and blind,
o que un beso en un suspiro                              or that a kiss in a sigh
me envía tu corazón?                                         sends me your heart?

Y en el luminoso día                                         And in the luminous day
y en la alta noche sombría,                                and in the height of the shadowy night,
si en todo cuanto rodea                                      if in all whatever it surrounds
al alma que te desea                                           to the core of your desires
te creo sentir y ver,                                             I believe you to feel and to see,

Dime: ¿es que toco y respiro                             Tell me: is what I touch and breathe
soñando, o que en un suspiro                             in a dream, or is it in a sigh that
me das tu aliento a beber?                                  you give me your breath to drink?

Gustavo Adolfo Becquer                                  Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD
Poet                                                                    Translator

About the Poet:  Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836 - 1870) is considered one of the first modern Spanish poets.  Originally from Sevilla, he moved to Madrid in 1854 in pursuit of a literary career.  Sadly, Bécquer received acclaim only after his death from tuberculosis at the age of thirty-four.  []

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