On Poetry and Culture Shock

New Beginnings!

Ahh… I like this new location, with as much or as little colour as I want, a simpler template, bigger fonts and at last the possibility of dividing posts into themes. Now you can ignore the poems, or the culture shock, or me being dogmatic about the creative process.

Anyway, let’s start this one with a few beginnings. One novel, one play, one poem, with extraordinary beginnings. Since faithful translations are easily available I have taken a few liberties wherever that didn’t mean killing the meaning.

Lolita by Nabokov starts like this (thanks for the prompt, Mar):

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

Ay, Lolita, luz de mi vida, fuego de mis entrañas. Mi pecado, mi alma. Lo-li-ta: la punta de la lengua da un triple salto mortal desde el paladar, un, dos, tres, hasta los dientes. Lo. Li. Ta.

Hamlet by Shakespeare starts like this:

BERNARDO: Who's there?
FRANCISCO: Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
BERNARDO: Long live the king!
FRANCISCO: You come most carefully upon your hour.
BERNARDO: 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
FRANCISCO: For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.

BERNARDO: ¿Quién anda ahí? No, contesta tú y descúbrete.
FRANCISCO: No, contesta tú y descúbrete.
BERNARDO: ¡Larga vida al rey!
FRANCISCO: ¿Bernardo?
FRANCISCO: Llegas justo a tu hora.
BERNARDO: Ya han dado las doce; vete a la cama, Francisco.
FRANCISCO: Muchas gracias; pues me muero de frío,
Y ya no puedo más.

La Voz a ti Debida by Pedro Salinas (The Voice I owe to you) starts like this:

Tú vives siempre en tus actos.
Con la punta de tus dedos
pulsas el mundo, le arrancas
auroras, triunfos, colores,
alegrías: es tu música.
La vida es lo que tú tocas.

You always live in your acts.
With the tips of your fingers
you stroke the world, you snatch from it
dawns, triumphs, colours,
joys: it's your music.
Life is what you touch.

1 comentario

Maria del Mar -

wow,my name´s mentioned on the net...*wink* , that´s democracy!
Now seriously,I got stirred seeing my beloved Lolita quoted. A sweet surprise. I love your blog.You´re really talented,darling pretty!! So talented that is scary...*"jaws" music*.Well, Stop the flattering and remember: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!