Si os partiéredes al alba

I guess you would consider Lope de Vega to be the closest parallel to Shakespeare in his versatility of dramatic and poetic output and his prolific body of work. There is much to choose from, and surely I will come back again to Lope’s poetry. I also love his drama, and remember seeing a great production of El Caballero de Olmedo at the Odeon Theatre in Paris in the early or mid1990s.

The main reason I chose this lyric for today’s posting is the use of the imperfect subjunctive tense in the first line – that always grabs my attention and admiration. So here goes…

Canción 46

Lope de Vega

Si os partiéredes al alba
quedito, pasito, amor,
no espantéis al ruiseñor.

Si os levantáis de mañana
de los brazos que os desean,
porque en los brazos no os vean
de alguna envidia liviana,
pisad con planta de lana
quedito, pasito, amor,
no espantéis al ruiseñor.

From <,+Lope+de+Vega+%28Paula+Moreno%29&gt;

The subject of the poem is a pleading from the poet to his loved one – if she gets up early to leave his arms in the morning, please don’t frighten the nightingale. Tread lightly, slowly, lovingly. In other words, the poem captures the special attraction of the poet’s lover, his desire that she doesn’t leave him and the implication that she is comparable to a nightingale. All stated or implied with an economy of language and imagery that is truly captivating. And yet Lope still finds space to dazzle us with that imperfect subjunctive (a bit like Coutinho’s goal for Liverpool against Southampton last Sunday) .

Very nice…

The Poetry Dude

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