I have been reading a lot of poetry lately, mostly focusing on Spanish language poets, because I am learning Spanish. I find poetry is easier to read than prose, maybe because I can focus on one line at a time, and the words are less crowded.
However, I’ve been surprised to find that so many of the results of my searches for the best Spanish language poets, have no easy to find translations into English. I suppose poetry is way less marketable than fiction, other than the most widely known names, so there is less reason in this capitalist world to put any effort into poetry translations.
Recently, I gave up looking exclusively for English, and bought a Spanish edition of some poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez to see if I could read them without the English translation right there for me.
It is slow going for many of them, but the first one I saw I understood right away, which was great encouragement. I’ll put it here:
Eres igual a ti,
y desigual, lo mismo
que los azules
Which I would write as:
You are just like you,
and different, the same
as the blues
of the sky.
I’m sure most of them won’t be that easy, but it was fun to see something and understand not just the words, but the meaning, right away.
I’ll post more favorites as I come across them, and maybe even try to translate some that I don’t understand right away.
There is an infinite world of books and poems out there. Look beyond your horizons, and see what you find…