Saturday, September 26, 2015

One Nicaraguan sunset

My Spanish teacher had me memorize a poem by the Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario-

Qué alegre y fresca la mañanita!       A morning so happy and fresh!
Me agarra el aire por la nariz:           I take in a deep breath
los perros ladran, un chico grita        Dogs bark, a boy yells
y una muchacha gorda y bonita,        And a pretty, plump girl,
junto a una piedra, muele maíz.         Grinds corn with a stone.

It's been 100 years since he wrote that poem and while there are no more plump girls grinding corn in the mornings (at least that I saw), there are still plenty of dogs barking.

They bark in the evening too, which was the best time to agarrar el aire por la nariz- outdoor sunset yoga anyone?- and take in the skyscapes.

Why didn't Ruben Dario dedicate verses to the happy, fresh evening?

He does have an afternoon poem, but it distinctly lacks that happy-go-lucky feeling of the morning:

Es la tarde gris y triste.               A sad, gray afternoon.
Viste el mar de terciopelo            The sea is dressed in velvet
y el cielo profundo viste               And the deep sky
de duelo.                                      Dressed in grief

(Do you see where this is going?? I think we could put him up against some Russian poets for sure.)

Del abismo se levanta                    From the abyss rises
la queja amarga y sonora              A bitter and sonorous complaint
La onda, cuando el viento canta,   When the wind sings
llora,                                             The wave cries

Los violines de la bruma                Violins of the stormy sky
saludan al sol que muere.              Hail the dying sun
Salmodia la blanca espuma:           Psalm of the white sea foam:
¡Miserere!                                      Have mercy!

And on the poem goes but that's as far as my Spanish goes. Anyway, there was sure nothing gris or triste about this sunset-


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