Snow, delicate snow, that falls with such lightness on the head, on the feelings, come and cover over the sadness that lies always in my reason. — Miguel de Unamuno, from “The Snowfall Is So Silent,” Roots and Wings: Poetry from Spain 1900-1975, trans. Robert Bly (Harper & Row, 1976)
It seems that in the advanced stages of stupidity, a lack of ideas is compensated for by an excess of ideologies. ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel’s Game. (Planeta 2013) Originally published 2008.
…as it seldom happens that any felicity comes so pure as not to be tempered and allayed by some mixture of sorrow. — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. Francisco de Robles 1605 (Part One), 1615 (Part Two). Published in English 1612 (Part One), 1620 (Part Two).
Quasida of the Woman Prone To see you naked is to remember the Earth, the smoooth Earth, clean of horses, the Earth without reeds, pure form, closed to the future, confine of silver. To see you naked is to understand the desire of rain that looks for the delicate waist, or the fever of the… Continue reading Federico García Lorca
If you ask me why I wrote “A thousand tambourines of crystal, wounded the light of daybreak –Mil panderos di cristal, herían la madruga,” I will tell you that I saw them in the hands of trees and angels, but I cannot say more: I cannot explain their meaning. And that is how it should… Continue reading Federico García Lorca
They can be like the sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field. — Juan de la Cruz, The Poems of St. John of the Cross (University of Chicago Press, 1995, first published in 1929)
Extend your heart, bankrupt it, blind it, until in it is born the powerful void of what can never be named. — José Ángel Valente, from “First night” Landscape with Yellow Birds. Archipelago, 2013 (transl. Tom Christensen)
My philosophy is fundamentally sad, but I’m not a sad man, and I don’t believe I sadden anyone else. In other words, the fact that I don’t put my philosophy into practice saves me from its evil spell, or, rather, my faith in the human race is stronger then my intellectual analysis of it; there… Continue reading Antonio Machado
And will that spellbound world die with you where memory holds those breaths, the purest in your life, the white shadow of your first love, the voice that went to your heart, the hand you wanted to hold in dream, and every love that touched your soul, the profound sky? Is your world to die… Continue reading Antonio Machado
Night is memory. — Lupe Gómez, from “There At That Baptism,” Camouflage: Poems, trans. Erin Mouré (Circumference Books, 2019)