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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Churton (ii)

Here's a poem by Góngora, about El Escorial, built by Felipe II: 



Sacros, altos, dorados capiteles,
Que a las nubes borráis sus arreboles,
Febo os teme por más lucientes soles
Y el cielo por gigantes más crueles.

Depón tus rayos, Júpiter; no celes
Los tuyos, Sol; de un templo son faroles
Que al mayor mártir de los españoles
Erigió el mayor rey de los fieles.

Religiosa grandeza del Monarca
Cuya diestra real al Nuevo Mundo
Abrevia, y el Oriente se le humilla.

Perdone el tiempo, lisonjee la Parca
La beldad desta Octava Maravilla,
Los años deste Salomón Segundo.


***

Here is Chilton's wonderfully expansive translation: 

THIS gorgeous sacred dome,—no pile profane,—
Whose glories leave the clouds of morn outdone,
Flouting the sun-rays, where in dazzling stone
The columns rise like giants from the plain,
Provokes no wrath from heaven, no jealous pain        5
In day’s bright lord. The splendor but makes known
A temple reared to Spain’s great martyred son
By the great king of ever-faithful Spain.
A great religion works this marvel rare,
Meet for the monarch, whose unquestioned sway        10
The new-found West and Eastern Indians own:
Stern Fate, be gentle: Time, the beauty spare
Of this eighth wonder; spare for many a day
In peaceful age our second Solomon.
 

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