No Comment — February 2, 2008, 4:03 am

Góngora – for El Greco

greco-orgaz

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.)

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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