En los ecos del organo, o en el rumor del viento

Back to the late 19th century, and another poem from Rosalia de Castro,who I guess we could call a post-romantic poet, writing in both Castilian and Galician from her home in north western Spain. This poem, which I think is untitled, has two sections. This is worth reading two or three times in one sitting to absorb the different layers of language and meaning.

 

I

En los ecos del órgano o en el rumor del viento,
en el fulgor de un astro o en la gota de lluvia,
te adivinaba en todo y en todo te buscaba,
sin encontrarte nunca.

Quizás después te ha hallado, te ha hallado y te ha perdido
otra vez, de la vida en la batalla ruda,
ya que sigue buscándote y te adivina en todo,
sin encontrarte nunca.

Pero sabe que existes y no eres vano sueño,
hermosura sin nombre, pero perfecta y única;
por eso vive triste, porque te busca siempre
sin encontrarte nunca.

II

Yo no sé lo que busco eternamente
en la tierra, en el aire y en el cielo;
yo no sé lo que busco, pero es algo
que perdí no sé cuándo y que no encuentro,
aun cuando sueñe que invisible habita
en todo cuanto toco y cuanto veo.

Felicidad, no he volver a hallarte
en la tierra, en el aire ni en el cielo,
¡aun cuando sé que existes
y no eres vano sueño!

 

From <http://www.poesi.as/rc8456.htm&gt;

 

The poem expresses a sense of loss and longing, but for what? The poet listens to the sounds of nature, looks up at the stars and wants to lose herself in the sounds and sights of the wind and nature, but she can’t find what she is looking for. There is a sense of mystery in the first part of this poem, and perhaps we are to read this longing as a search for God or some transcendental experience. All she can describe it as is beauty, unnamed or unnameable, but perfect, but there is a sense of sadness and longing that she will look and never find; this is the sentiment which closes the first section of the poem.

The second section starts with questioning what she is looking for; she only knows that it is something that she has lost. Is it happiness, or will it bring her happiness? The paradox is that the poet knows she can never find it, while knowing that it exists.

So this is a poem full of mystery, sadness and unease – but its beauty is in the way these nebulous feelings are expressed and affirmed as the real experience of the poet.

 
The Poetry Dude

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