"Pasos de un peregrino son errante cuantos me dictó versos dulce Musa en soledad confusa perdidos unos otros inpirados"

Aug 22, 2014


Pasos de un peregrino son errante
cuantos me dictó versos dulce musa,
en soledad confusa
perdidos unos, otros inspirados.
¡Oh tú que, de venablos impedido,
muros de abeto, almenas de diamante,
bates los montes que, de nieve armados,
gigantes de cristal los teme el cielo,
donde el cuerno, del eco repetido,
fieras te expone que, al teñido suelo
muertas pidiendo términos disformes,
espumoso coral le dan al Tormes!:

The dedication commences with a few statements which would have sounded familiar to the Duke of Béjar, who resided on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela. A wandering pilgrim dedicates his inspired thoughts (not his steps) to him, some written down, some lost. From the fifth line onward the Duke is mentioned specifically: tú. This Duke combats the giant mountains around Béjar, topped with snow. While doing so he is hindered by trees which seem like muros de abeto [with] almenas de diamante. (I refer to my comments later on this website)
     Next the poet describes those parts of the mountains which reach above the tree line. He applies sharp "e" sounds to express fear and drama: los teme el cielo, cuerno, eco. In fact, virtually every word in the last four lines contains the "e" sound. In don Luis' Andalusian tongue this would have sounded even more dramatic, and nothing is ever coincidence in his works. From the dull, safe pasos, musa, confusa, venablos, dulce and muros he constructs a narrative which explodes into the "espumoso coral le dan al Tormes!" From the pasos and versos dangerous action emerges: the (mythological) unicorn, doubled by its echo, alerts a fearful sky which overlooks the numerous cadavers of bears.


Poetry fragment: Carreira, Antonio. Antología poética.

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