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Esta en forma elegante, oh peregrino,
de pórfido luciente dura llave,
el pincel niega al mundo más süave,
que dio espíritu a leño, vida a lino.
Su nombre, aún de mayor aliento dino
que en los clarines de la Fama cabe,
el campo ilustra de ese mármol grave;
venéralo y prosigue tu camino.
Yace el Griego. Heredó Naturaleza
Arte; y el Arte, estudio. Iris, colores.
Febo, luces (si no sombras, Morfeo).
Tanta urna, a pesar de su dureza,
lágrimas beba, y cuantos suda olores
corteza funeral de árbol sabeo.
This in graceful form, oh pilgrim,
a solid key of porphyry gleaming brightly
denies the world the softest brush
which ever wood gave soul, or canvas gave life.
His name, deserving even greater breath
than Fame needs for her clarion fanfare,
this field of marble amplifies:
venerate it and be on your way.
Here lies the Greek. to Nature he bequeathed Art,
To Art, learning.
To the Rainbow, colors.
To Phoebus, the bright, to Morpheus his somber tones.
May this great urn, despite its hardness,
drink tears and all the odors in the sweat
of the funereal bark of the Arabian tree.
–Luís de Góngora, Inscripción para el sepulcro
de Domínico Greco (1610)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”