Archive for 25/08/12

León Felipe’s “Vencidos”


http://laescribania.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/leon-felipe-un-exiliado/León Felipe, born as Felipe Camino Galicia de la Rosa (1884-1968), was one of the most important Spanish poets, since the 20s til his dead in 1968. His first poem book, Versos y oraciones del caminante (Verses and prays of the Walkerman) was edited in 1920. León Felipe couldn’t be framed in any of the principal poetic ways of the 20s: neither a vangardist, a clasicist or a revolutionary, but a poet with simple poems in free verse, perhaps alike Antonio Machado. The war and the exile, later, made of him one of the most fierce revolutionary poets, with a strong humanist thought. León Felipe was such aesthetic as revolutionary in his very particular poetry. He died in Mexico City, in 1968. This poem belongs to his first book: the figure of Don Quixote was used by León Felipe many times, as a symbol of the real Spanish spirit, and as a personal symbol of himself too: always dreaming, always fighting against windmills, and always getting beaten and tired. Later, he made an union of Don Quixote and Jesuschrist.

Again, I must to tell that this is just an aproximation, and shouldn’t be used for professional or academic purposes. If you like it, you better look for good editions in your language, better if it’s bilingual.

The poet recites his own poem; recorded in “León Felipe y su intérpretes” (RCA 1977)

Vencidos

Por la manchega llanura
se vuelve a ver la figura
de Don Quijote pasar…

Y ahora ociosa y abollada va en el rucio la armadura,
y va ocioso el caballero, sin peto y sin espaldar…
va cargado de amargura…
que allá encontró sepultura
su amoroso batallar…
va cargado de amargura…
que allá «quedó su ventura»
en la playa de Barcino, frente al mar…

Por la manchega llanura
se vuelve a ver la figura
de Don Quijote pasar…
va cargado de amargura…
va, vencido, el caballero de retorno a su lugar.

Cuántas veces, Don Quijote, por esa misma llanura
en horas de desaliento así te miro pasar…
y cuántas veces te grito: Hazme un sitio en tu montura
y llévame a tu lugar;
hazme un sitio en tu montura
caballero derrotado,
hazme un sitio en tu montura
que yo también voy cargado
de amargura
y no puedo batallar.
Ponme a la grupa contigo,
caballero del honor,
ponme a la grupa contigo
y llévame a ser contigo
pastor.

Por la manchega llanura
se vuelve a ver la figura
de Don Quijote pasar…

http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/bquijote/q_leonf2.htm

Defeated

All along the Manchega plains/ it’s seing again the shape/ of Don Quixote passing by…// And now idle and battered upon the gray goes the armor,/ and the knight is going idle, without breastplate and without backplate…/ he goes charged with bitterness…/ for his amorous battling/ found a sepulture…/ he goes charged with bitterness…/ for there “stood behind his fortune”*/ at the beach of Barcino, in front of the sea…// All along the Manchega plains/ it’s seing again the shape/ of Don Quixote passing by…/ he goes charged with bitterness…/ the knight, defeated, goes back to his place.// How many times, Don Quixote, by that same plain/ at the times of discouragement I look you passing by just like that…/ And how many times I shout to yo: make me a site on your mount/ and take me to your place;/ make me a site on your mount/ beaten knight,/ make me a site on your mount/ because I go charged with/ bitterness too/ and I cannot battle./ Put me on the rump with you,/ knight of honour,/ put me on the rump with you/ and take me to be with you/ a shepherd.// All along the Manchega plains/ it’s seing again the shape/ of Don Quixote passing by…

León Felipe

Gustave_Doré_-_Miguel_de_Cervantes_-_Don_Quixote_-_Part_1_-_Chapter_1_-_Plate_1_'A_world_of_disorderly_notions,_picked_out_of_his_books,_crowded_into_his_imagination'* Real quote from Don Quixote, but the translation is mine, not taken from an English edition. The context of the poem follows the endings of Don Quixote: at the beach of Barcino (Barcelona), Don Quixote is challenged by the Knight of the White Moon (Caballero de la Blanca Luna), who is a disguised man from his village: if he loses, he shall get back to his village. And so it was. When he is at his deathbed, he takes the decision of make himself a shepherd. The most of the academics read this as a literary symbol, almost biographic, of the own Miguel de Cervantes: a reference to his pastoral novel, La Galatea. Perhaps, other criticist might see in this a metaphore of the history of literature, when, at the aftermath of Middle Age and the beginnings of Modernity, the writers, the poets, left behind the genre of knights and begun to write bucolic poetry (for example, the love between shepherds writen by Garcilaso de la Vega).

Contrary to popular belief, this poem, at its beginnings, didn’t talk about the Spanish civil war, the defeated Spanish Republic, nor the exile, as can be noted in the date of edition. But later, as it’s natural, many people used in this way. So, the popular songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat sung his own version, probably in this spirit, but not necessarily:

From his succesful LP “Mediterráneo” (1971)
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