Here is a poem in Catalan from Joan Maragall, which captures a moment of great beauty and tenderness as the poet gives flowers to his lover. The delicate language, the capturing of subtle interactions between the lovers around the flowers and their reaction to them, make this poem a striking and captivating expression of a moment of love. However, if I have interpreted it correctly, there is a sting in the tail in the final line, which might change the whole interpretation of what goes before. This surprise adds another dimension and additional depth to the poem as a whole.
Sending flowers, by Joan Maragall…. Enjoy
Veig flors, i penso en tu. Faré portar-les
a tu pel dolç camí de cada dia;
que omplin d’aromes davant meu la via,
després a vora teu vindré a olorar-les.
Grat ens serà tenir-les davant nostre,
a l’hora de parlar de l’amor meu:
vers el gerro florit baixaré el rostre,
tot alçant els meus ulls al somrís teu.
Tu triaràs una poncella encesa,
al damunt del teu pit la clavaràs,
i, amb moviment de cígnia bellesa,
arquejant el teu coll l’oloraràs.
Al sentir l’alè tebi amb què la mulles,
al frec constant del teu bell rostre ardent,
la rosa adreçarà totes ses fulles
i es badarà desesperadament.
I encara em mig riuràs; mes quan me veges
de tu a la flor, mentres jugueu aixís,
moure l’esguard, guspirejant d’enveges,
fugirà en sec ton confiat somrís.
The poem dives into its subject and its creation of mood in the first few words – I see flowers and think of you. And there follows an accumulating collection of association between the flowers, their attributes and the poet’s lover. The scents and colours of the flowers fill the poets senses and make every moment heady with love and passion, all his everyday experiences become expressions of love, “pel dolc cami de cada dia;” And then when he meets her and presents her with the flowers, the poem describes a kind of courtship dance, with first he, and then she lowering their face, raising their eyes, smelling the flowers and each other, totally lost in the moment and in each other.
And then there is the kick in the tail, when the poet’s lover seems to wake up, to become aware that he is totally besotted with her and is using the flowers to draw her in – and in the final line the magic moment of harmony and togetherness disappears, as her smile fades away and she becomes dry and stiff.
With one line the whole mood of what has gone before is altered. Finally, the flowers have not served their purpose.
The Poetry Dude