Lockdown Diaries: Day 69 (In Rome with Quevedo)

Virtual Escape: In Rome with Quevedo

Evasión virtual: En Roma con Quevedo

Francisco de Quevedo 1580-1645

Much earlier in the lockdown I wrote about some books I’ve got that would make me look good if I dropped dead with them in hand but which I have never read: an anthology of Quevedo’s poetry in the original was one of them.

Mucho antes en la cuarentena, escribió sobre unos libros que tengo; libros que me harían lucir si me muera con ellos en la mano, pero que nunca he leído: la antología de la poesía de Quevedo en el original idioma fue uno de ellos. 


Well, several weeks of the lockdown passed. And finally I dared to try and tackle Francisco de Quevedo in the original.

Pues pasaron las semanas de la cuarentena. Y finalmente me he atrevido a leer a Francisco de Quevedo en español:

A Roma sepultada en sus ruinas   

     Buscas en Roma a Roma, ¡oh peregrino!
   y en Roma misma a Roma no la hallas:
cadáver son las que ostentó murallas,
y tumba de sí proprio el Aventino.
Yace donde reinaba el Palatino
y, limadas del tiempo, las medallas
más se muestran destrozo a las batallas
de las edades que blasón latino.
Solo el Tibre quedó, cuya corriente,
si ciudad la regó, ya sepoltura
la llora con funesto son doliente.
     ¡Oh, Roma!, en tu grandeza, en tu hermosura,|
huyó lo que era firme, y solamente
lo fugitivo permanece y dura!

And in English / Y en la traducción inglesa:

Rome Entombed in its Ruins

You look for Rome in Rome, O peregrine!
And find in Rome that Rome Herself is gone:
The walls She flaunted are a corpse of stone,
A tomb for its own self, the Aventine.
Here rests, where once it reigned, the Palatine
And those medallions scoured by Time show more
Old battle damage from the constant war
Of ages, than the escutcheoned Latin sign.
Only the Tiber has remained, whose flow
Watered the town’s growth, weeping at its grave
A teary stream in mournful tones of woe.
O Rome in beauty and greatness of Thy past
All that stood firm has fled, and nothing save
What runs in transience remains to last.

Was the two months of lockdown good for something after all? 😀/ ¿Quizás los dos meses de la cuarentena no fue para nada? 😀

Links:Lockdown Diaries: Day 29 (Books That Make You Look Good When Dead?)

For the English version of the poem, thank you to: Poems Found in Translation
Keep safe, keep sane – read some Spanish poetry! 🙂
Ten cuidado, sigue sonriendo – lee unos poemas. 🙂

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