On Poetry and Culture Shock

Mr Money (Poderoso Caballero es Don Dinero)

I said some time ago that “Mr Money” sounded like such a good name that I had to find the original poem for you. This is one of Quevedo’s satirical masterpieces; Francisco de Quevedo was a Spanish poet from the 17th century who wrote one picaresque novel, and poetry (love, satirical and romantic), mostly in sonnet form. Something like a Spanish John Donne but with a wild sense of humour. Take away the sense of humour and add Latin syntax and you have Góngora). This is a very free translation of the first stanza; the others have jokes and puns so local or historically bound that they would need footnotes. I stopped there so I don't go to the Hell of Translators, where people have to translate Finnegans Wake for eternity in punishment for their translating mistakes. The complete original can be read here.

Madre, yo al oro me humillo,
Él es mi amante y mi amado,
Pues de puro enamorado
Anda continuo amarillo.
Que pues doblón o sencillo
Hace todo cuanto quiero,
Poderoso caballero
Es don Dinero.

Mother, I kneel before money,
My one and only, my beloved,
Though, fearful of my waywardness
He is forever green-eyed.
And since in all size and colour
Always does what I demand,
Such a powerful gentleman
is my Mister Money.

0 comentarios