Stories and Poems/Cuentos y Poesías: A Dual-Language Book

Stories and Poems/Cuentos y Poesías: A Dual-Language Book

by Rubén Darío, Stanley Appelbaum

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Overview

One of the most important Latin-American writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Nicaraguan poet and essayist Rubén Darío (the pen name of Félix Rubén García Sarmiento) is considered the high priest of the modernismo school of literature, known for its dazzling verbal virtuosity and technical perfection. The present volume contains a rich selection of Darío's best poems and stories, carefully chosen from Azul (Blue), Prosas profanas (Worldly Hymns), Cantos de vida y esperanza (Songs of Life and Hope), El canto errante (The Wandering Song), and Poema del otoño (Poem of autumn). Stanley Appelbaum has provided accurate English translations (line for line in the poetry section) on the pages facing the original Spanish, as well as an informative introduction to Darío's life and work, and annotations to the individual stories and poems. The result is a superb resource for any student of Spanish language and literature or anyone interested in one of the earliest and most influential literary movements of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486121697
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 03/21/2012
Series: Dover Dual Language Spanish
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 662 KB

About the Author

Stanley Appelbaum served for decades as Dover's Editor in Chief until his retirement in 1996. He continues to work as a selector, compiler, editor, and translator of literature in a remarkable range of languages that includes Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Russian.

Read an Excerpt

Stories and Poems/Cuentos y poesías

A Dual-Language Book


By Rubén Darío, STANLEY APPELBAUM

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12169-7



CHAPTER 1

El Rey Burgués


(Cuento alegre)

¡Amigo! El cielo está opaco, el aire frío, el día triste. Un cuento alegre ..., así como para distraer las brumosas y grises melancolías, helo aquí:

Había en una ciudad inmensa y brillante un rey muy poderoso que tenía trajes caprichosos y ricos, esclavas desnudas, blancas y negras, caballos de largas crines, armas flamantísimas, galgos rápidos y mon-teros con cuernos de bronce, que llenaban el viento con sus fanfarrias. ¿Era un rey poeta? No, amigo mío: era el Rey Burgués.

Era muy aficionado a las artes el soberano, y favorecía con gran largueza a sus músicos, a sus hacedores de ditirambos, pintores, escultores, boticarios, barberos y maestros de esgrima.

Cuando iba a la floresta, junto al corzo o jabalí herido y sangriento, hacía improvisar a sus profesores de retórica canciones alusivas; los criados llenaban las copas de vino de oro que hierve, y las mujeres batían palmas con movimientos rítmicos y gallardos. Era un rey sol, en su Babilonia llena de músicas, de carcajadas y de ruido de festín. Cuando se hastiaba de la ciudad bullente iba de caza atronando el bosque con sus tropeles, y hacía salir de sus nidos a las aves asustadas, y el vocerío repercutía en lo más escondido de las cavernas. Los perros de patas elásticas iban rompiendo la maleza en la carrera, y los cazadores, inclinados sobre el pescuezo de los caballos, hacían ondear los mantos purpúreos y llevaban las caras encendidas y las cabelleras al viento.

El rey tenía un palacio soberbio donde había acumulado riquezas y objetos de arte maravillosos. Llegaba a él por entre grupos de lilas y extensos estanques, siendo saludado por los cisnes de cuellos blancos antes que por los lacayos estirados. Buen gusto. Subía por una escalera llena de columnas de alabastro y de esmaragdina, que tenía a los dos lados leones de mármol, como los de los tronos sa-lomónicos. Refinamiento. A más de los cisnes, tenía una vasta pajarera, como amante de la armonía, del arrullo, del trino; y cerca de ella iba a ensanchar su espíritu, leyendo novelas de M. Ohnet, o bellos libros sobre cuestiones gramaticales, o críticas her-mosillescas. Eso sí, defensor acérrimo de la corrección académica en letras y del modo lamido en artes; alma sublime, amante de la lija y de la ortografía.


—¡Japonerías! ¡Chinerías! Por lujo y nada más.

Bien podía darse el placer de un salón digno del gusto de un Goncourt y de los millones de un Creso; quimeras de bronce con las fauces abiertas y las colas enroscadas, en grupos fantásticos y maravillosos; lacas de Kioto con incrustaciones de hojas y ramas de una flora monstruosa, y animales de una fauna desconocida; mariposas de raros abanicos junto a las paredes; peces y gallos de colores; máscaras de gestos infernales y con ojos como si fuesen vivos; partesanas de hojas antiquísimas y empuñaduras con dragones devorando flores de loto; y en conchas de huevo, túnicas de seda amarilla como tejidas con hilos de araña, sembradas de garzas rojas y de verdes matas de arroz; y ti-bores, porcelanas de muchos siglos, de aquellas en que hay guerreros tártaros con una piel que les cubre los riñones y que llevan arcos estirados y manojos de flechas.

Por lo demás, había el salón griego lleno de mármoles: diosas, musas, ninfas y sátiros; el salón de los tiempos galantes, con cuadros del gran Watteau y de Chardin: dos, tres, cuatro, ¡cuántos salones!

Y Mecenas se paseaba por todos, con la cara inundada de cierta majestad, el vientre feliz y la corona en la cabeza, como un rey de naipe.


Un día le llevaron una rara especie de hombre ante su trono, donde se hallaba rodeado de cortesanos, de retóricos y de maestros de equi-tación y de baile.

—¿Qué es esto?—preguntó.

—Señor, es un poeta.

El rey tenía cisnes en el estanque, canarios, gorriones, sinsontes en la pajarera; un poeta era algo nuevo y extraño.

—Dejadle aquí.

Y el poeta:

—Señor, no he comido.

Y el rey:

Habla y comerás.

Comenzó:

—Señor, ha tiempo que yo canto el verbo del porvenir. He tenido mis alas al huracán, he nacido en el tiempo de la aurora; busco la raza escogida que debe inspirar, con el himno en la boca y la lira en la mano, la salida del gran sol. He abandonado la inspiración de la ciudad malsana, la alcoba llena de perfumes, la musa de carne que llena el alma de pequeñez y el rostro de polvos de arroz. He roto el arpa adulona de las cuerdas débiles contra las copas de Bohemia y las jarras donde espumea el vino que embriaga sin dar fortaleza; he arrojado el manto que me hacía parecer histrión o mujer, y he vestido de modo salvaje y espléndido; mi harapo es de púrpura. He ido a la selva, donde he quedado vigoroso y ahíto de leche fecunda y licor de nueva vida; y en la ribera del mar áspero, sacudiendo la cabeza bajo la fuerte y negra tempestad, como un ángel soberbio, o como un semidiós olímpico, he ensayado el yambo dando al olvido el madrigal.

He acariciado a la gran Naturaleza, y he buscado el calor ideal, el verso que está en el astro en el fondo del cielo, y el que está en la perla en lo profundo del océano. ¡He querido ser pujante! Porque viene el tiempo de las grandes revoluciones, con un Mesías todo luz, todo agitación y potencia, y es preciso recibir su espíritu con el poema que sea arco triunfal, de estrofas de acero, de estrofas de oro, de estrofas de amor.

¡Señor, el arte no está en los fríos envoltorios de mármol, ni en los cuadros lamidos; ni en el excelente señor Ohnet! ¡Señor! El arte no viste pantalones, ni habla burgués, ni pone los puntos en todas las íes. Él es augusto, tiene mantos de oro, o de llamas, o anda desnudo, y amasa la greda con fiebre, y pinta con luz, y es opulento, y da golpes de ala como las águilas o zarpazos como los leones. Señor, entre un Apolo y un ganso, preferid el Apolo, aunque el uno sea de tierra cocida y el otro de marfil.

¡Oh la poesía!

¡Y bien! Los ritmos se prostituyen, se cantan los lunares de las mujeres y se fabrican jarabes poéticos. Además, señor, el zapatero critica mis endecasílabos, y el señor profesor de farmacia pone puntos y comas a mi inspiración. Señor, ¡y vos les autorizáis todo esto! ... El ideal, el ideal ...



The Bourgeois King

(A Merry Tale)

Friend! The sky is leaden, the air cold, the day sad. A merry tale ... one that will dispel foggy, gray melancholy ... here it is:

In a vast, brilliant city there lived a very mighty king who possessed fanciful, rich clothing, nude slave-girls both white and black, long-maned horses, brightly gleaming weapons, swift hunting hounds, and huntsmen with bronze horns who filled the breeze with their fanfares. Was he a poet king? No, my friend: he was the Bourgeois King.

The sovereign was very fond of the arts, and was extremely generous to his musicians, his makers of dithyrambs, painters, sculptors, pharmacists, barbers, and fencing masters. When he went to the forest, alongside the stricken roebuck or boar he had his professors of rhetoric improvise songs on the subject; his servants would fill the goblets with wine like seething gold, and the women would clap hands with rhythmic, elegant movements. He was a sun king, in his Babylon filled with music, laughter, and festive sounds. Whenever he tired of the bustle of the city, he went hunting, deafening the woods with his throngs of followers, making the frightened birds leave their nests, while their shouts echoed in the remotest recesses of the caves. The dogs on their springy paws went about trampling the underbrush in their wild race, and the huntsmen, bent over their horses' necks, made their purple capes billow out, with flushed faces and their hair streaming in the wind.

The king owned a magnificent palace, in which he had amassed riches and marvelous art objects. He would arrive there passing between clumps of lilacs and wide pools, being greeted by the white-necked swans even before the haughty lackeys greeted him. Good taste. He would climb a flight of stairs filled with columns of alabaster and smaragdite, which had marble lions at its two sides, like the ones on Solomon's thrones. Refinement. Besides the swans, he had a huge aviary, since he loved harmony, cooing, warbling; near it, he would expand his spirit, reading novels by Monsieur Ohnet, or beautiful books on questions of grammar, or literary criticism by Hermosilla. Yes, indeed, he was a staunch defender of academic correctness in literature and an excessively fastidious style in the arts; a sublime soul, a lover of polishing with sandpaper, and of proper spelling.


"Japonaiserie! Chinoiserie! Give me luxury, and that's all!"

He was well able to indulge himself in a salon worthy of the taste of a Goncourt and the millions of a Croesus: bronze chimeras with open jaws and coiled tails, in fantastic, wondrous groupings; Kyoto lacquers inlaid with the leaves and branches of a monstrous flora, and animals of an unknown fauna; butterfly arrangements of rare fans on the walls; multicolored fish and cockerels; masks with infernal expressions and seemingly living eyes; partizans with age-old blades and handles with dragons that were devouring lotus blossoms; and, in eggshells, tunics of yellow silk as if woven from cobwebs, with a repeat pattern of red herons and green rice paddies; and tall Oriental vases, porcelains many centuries old, the type that depict Tartar warriors, wearing an animal skin over their loins and carrying tautened bows and handfuls of arrows.

In addition, there was the Greek salon, filled with marble statues: goddesses, muses, nymphs, and satyrs; the salon of the gallant era, with paintings by the great Watteau and by Chardin; two, three, four, any number of salons!


And Maecenas would walk through all of them, his face bathed in a certain majesty, his stomach sated and his crown on his head, like the king in a deck of cards.

One day a rare breed of man was brought before his throne, where he sat surrounded by courtiers, rhetoricians, and riding and dancing masters.

"What is this?" he asked.

"Highness, it's a poet."

The king possessed swans in his pool, canaries, sparrows, mockingbirds in his aviary; a poet was something new and strange.

"Leave him here."

And the poet said:

"Highness, I haven't eaten."

And the king said:

"Speak and you'll eat."

He began:

"Highness, for some time now I've been singing the words of the future. I've spread my wings in the hurricane, I was born at the time of dawning; I seek the chosen race which, a hymn on its lips and a lyre in its hands, is to inspire the rising of the great sun. I have abandoned the inspiration of the unhealthful city, the bedroom filled with perfumes, the flesh-and-blood muse who fills one's soul with pettiness and one's face with rice powder. I have broken the groveling, weak-stringed harp against the Bohemian goblets and the pitchers of foaming wine that intoxicates without giving fortitude; I have cast away the mantle that made me resemble an actor or a woman, and I have dressed in a wild, splendid way; my tatters are of purple. I have gone to the forest, where I have become vigorous, satiated with rich milk and the fluid of new life; and on the shore of the rugged sea, shaking my head in the strong, dark tempest, like a haughty angel or an Olympian demigod, I have essayed the iamb of satire, while abandoning the ingratiating madrigal.

"I have caressed great Nature, and I have sought the heat of the Idea, the verses to be found in the heavenly bodies in the highest reaches of the sky, and in the pearl at the bottom of the sea. I have tried to be forceful! Because the era of great revolutions is at hand, with a Messiah who is all light, all restlessness and potency, and his spirit must be welcomed with a poem that is a triumphal arch, with strophes of steel, strophes of gold, strophes of love.

"Highness, art is not contained in cold marble claddings, or in finicky paintings, or in the excellent Mister Ohnet! Highness! Art doesn't wear trousers, use bourgeois vocabulary, or dot every i. It is an august figure that either wears mantles of gold or flame, or else goes nude; it kneads cleansing fuller's earth feverishly, it paints with light, it is opulent, and strikes you with its wings as eagles do, or with its paws as lions do. Highness, between an Apollo and a goose, prefer the Apollo, even if one of them is made of terra-cotta and the other of ivory.

"O poetry!

"Well, then! Rhythms are being prostituted, people write about women's moles, and poetic syrups are being manufactured. What's more, Highness, the cobbler criticizes my hendecasyllables, and the professor of pharmacy adds periods and commas to my inspiration. And, Highness, you authorize them to do all that! ... The ideal, the ideal ..."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Stories and Poems/Cuentos y poesías by Rubén Darío, STANLEY APPELBAUM. Copyright © 2002 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Annotations
Cuentos / Stories
(All the stories except the last one are from the collection Azul . . .)
El Rey Burgués / The Bourgeois King
El sátiro sordo / The Deaf Satyr
La ninfa / The Nymph
El fardo / The Bale
El velo de la reina Mab / The Veil of Queen Mab
La canción del oro / The Hymn to Gold
El pájaro azul / The Blue Bird
Palomas blancas y garzas morenas / White Doves and Brown Herons
La muerte de la emperatriz de la China / The Death of the Empress of China
El caso de la señorita Amelia / The Case of Miss Amelia
Poesís / Poems
From Azul . . . (Blue . . .)
Caupolicán
Venus / Venus
Walt Whitman / Walt Whitman
From Prosas profanas (Worldly Hymns)
"Era un aire suave . . ." / "The Air Was Gentle . . ."
Divagación / Digression
Sonatina / Sonatina
Blasón / Coat-of-Arms
"Ite, missa est / Ite, Missa Est"
Coloquio de los centauros / Dialogue of the Centaurs
El poeta pregunta por Stella / The Poet Asks About Stella
Sinfonía en gris mayor / Symphony in Gray Major
Verlaine: Responso / Verlaine: Response
El reino interior / The Inner Kingdom
"Ama tu ritmo . . ." / "Love Your Rhythm . . ."
Alma mía / My Soul
"Yo persigo una forma . . ." / "I Pursue a Form . . ."
From Cantos de vida y esperanza (Songs of Life and Hope)
"Yo goy aquel . . ." / "I Am That Man . . ."
Salutación del optimista / Greetings from an Optimist
Al rey Óscar / To King Oscar
Cyrano en España / Cyrano in Spain
A Roosevelt / To Roosevelt
"¡Torres de Dios! . . ." / "Towers of God! . . ."
Canto de esperanza / Song of Hope
Marcha triunfal / Triumphal March
Cisnes I / Swans I
Cisnes II: En la muerte de Rafel Núñez / Swans II: On the Death of Rafael Núñez
Cisnes III / Swans III
Cisnes IV / Swans IV
"La dulzura del ángelus . . ." / "The Sweetness of the Angelus . . ."
Tarde del trópico / Evening in the Tropics
"Nocturno ("Quiero expresar . . .") / Nocturne ("I wish to express . . .")"
Canción de otoño en primavera / Autumnal Song in Springtime
Trébol / Cloverleaf
Leda / Leda
"Divina Psiquis . . ." / "Divine Psyche . . ."
A Phocás el campesino / To Phocas the Peasant
"¡Carne, celeste carne . . .!" / "Flesh, Heavenly Flesh . . .!"
"En el país de las Alegorías . . ." / "In the Land of Allegories . . ."
Augurios / Omens
Melancolía / Melancholy
"Nocturno ("Los que auscultasteis . . .") / Nocturne ("You who have ausculated . . .")"
Letanía de nuestro señor don Quijote / Litany of Our Lord Don Quixote
Lo fatal / Fatality
From El canto errante (The Wandering Song)
Momotombo / Momotombo
Salutación al águila / Greetings to the Eagle
¡Eheu! / Eheu!
"Nocturno ("Silencio de la noche . . .") / Nocturne ("Silence of the night . . .")"
Epístola / Epistle
Balada en honor de las musas de carne y hueso / Ballade in Honor of the Flesh-and-Blood Muses
From Poema del otoño (Poem of Autumn)
Poema del otoña / Poem of Autumn
Alphabetical List of Spanish Titles of Poems
Alphabetical List of Spanish First Lines of Poems

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