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Spanish Soneta or Spanish Sonnet


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The Spanish Soneta or Spanish Sonnet, Spain's variation of the little song is written in hendecasyllabic lines. It was influenced by its Italian neighbors and uses Italian and Sicilian rhyme schemes. The Soneta is often used for monologues or exchanging vows of love.

El Marqués de Santillana ( 1398-1458), was the first to write sonnets in the Spanish language. His unpublished works were in the Petrarchan form. By the 16th century, two Spanish "gentleman writers", Juan Boscán and Garcilaso de la Vega, popularized the form. But it was 17th century Francisco Quevedo who brought the sonnet to the forefront of Spanish literature.

The elements of the Spanish Soneta are:

  1. a quatorzain made up of 2 Italian quatrains followed by a Sicilian sestet.
  2. syllabic, hendecasyllabic lines (11 syllables). In English often written in iambic pentameter.
  3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abba abba cdcdcd,
  4. pivot develops logically after the 2nd quatrain.

Sonneto XX by Pablo Neruda

Mi fea, eres una castaña despeinada,                                               
mi bella, eres hermosa como el viento,
mi fea, de tu boca se pueden hacer dos,
mi bella, son tus besos frescos como sandías

Mi fea, ¿dónde están escondidos tus senos?
Son mínimos como dos copas de trigo.
Me gustaría verte dos lunas en el pecho:
las gigantescas torres de tu soberanía.

Mi fea, el mar no tiene tus uñas en su tienda,
mi bella, flor a flor, estrella por estrella,
ola por ola, amor, he contado tu cuerpo:
mi fea, te amo por tu cintura de oro,
mi bella, te amo por una arruga en tu frente,
amor, te amo por clara y por oscura.

My ugly, you're an uncombed chestnut,
my belle, you're beautiful like the wind,
my ugly, two mouths can be made out of yours,
my belle, fresh like watermelons are your kisses.

My ugly, where do your breasts hide?
They're tiny like two cups of wheat.
I'd like to see two moons in your chest:
the gigantic towers of your sovereignty.

My ugly, the sea hasn't got your nails in its store
my belle, flower by flower, star by star,
wave by wave, love, I've counted your body:
my ugly, I love you because of your waist of gold,
my belle, I love you because of a wrinkle in your forehead,
love, I love you because you're clear and dark.


To my Brothers by John Keats

Small busy flames play through the fresh laid coals
And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while for rhymes, I search around the poles,
Your eyes are fixed, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep
That aye at fall of night our care condoles.

This is your birthday Tom, and I rejoice
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly.
Many such eves of gently whisp'ring noise
May we together pass and calmly try
What are this worlds true joy, - ere the great voice
From its fair face, shall bid our spirits fly.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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  • 8 months later...

Working on translation of Barry's poem to a Spanish Sonnet at his request

angels built a bridge between frozen tears
that were broken by God's glistening spears
virgin of the fallen weighed the shadow
of a cross with a flower to allow
the caress of her blessed mystery to
undress the symptoms of madness. The view
from heaven was caught in the eyes of this
virgin-physician of the soul, her bliss
survives on hospital wards. Angels dance
on the stomachs of those healed, silence
is disturbed by the rising of clock
hands to rapture's call-she commands they knock
on heaven's door and inscribe the names of
those whose insanity bleeds-transforms into love.

Los ángeles construyen un puente
de lágrimas congeladas cual es roto
con la brillante lanza rápida de Dios.
La Virgen de los Caídos pesa esto.

La sombra de la cruz y la flor permite
que la caricia de su bendito misterio
descubra los síntomas de la locura.
La vista es captada por ella sollozos.

Los ángeles bailan sobre los vientres
de los sanados. Silencio perturbado
por la llamada del éxtasis. Esta médica
del alma, llama a la puerta del cielo
e inscribe los nombres de los que sangran
la locura. Su amor los transforma.

Here is the literal translation to English, in order to fit the poem into the form in Spanish, I had to modify or eliminate some of the imagery.

The angels build a bridge
of frozen tears that is broken
by the bright swift spear of God.
The Virgin of the Fallen weighs this.

The shadow of the cross and the flower allows
the caress of its blessed mystery
to uncover the symptoms of madness.
The sight is captured by her sobs.

Angels dance on the bellies
of the healed. Silence disturbed
by the call of ecstasy. This doctor
of the soul, knocks on the door of heaven
and inscribes the names of those who bleed
madness. Her love transforms them.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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