Garcilaso de la Vega, the great Spanish Renaissance poet, died on a day like today in 1536 in Nice. His life, full of military intrigue and achievement, competes in brilliance with a scarce but fundamental work in Spanish literature. In his memory I rescue 5 of his sonnets to remember it.
Table of Contents
- 1 Garcilaso de la Vega
- 2 His work
Garcilaso de la Vega
Born in Toledo, within a noble Castilian family. From a very young age he participated in the political intrigues of Castile until in 1510 he entered at the court of King Charles I. He took part in numerous military and political battles and participated in the expedition to Rhodes, in 1522, together with Juan Boscan, of whom he was a good friend. In 1523 he was appointed knight of Santiago and, a few years later he moved with Carlos I to Bologna where he was crowned emperor.
He suffered exile and then went to Nápoles, where it stayed. However, in the assault on the fortress of Muy, in French Provence, it was mortally wounded in combat. After being transferred to Nice died there on a day like today 1536.
His little work that has been preserved, written y entre 1526 1535, was published in a way posthumous together with that of Juan Boscán under the title of The works of Boscán with some of Garcilaso de la Vega. This book inaugurated the Literary Renaissance in Spanish Letters. The influence of Italian poetics and metrics can be seen openly in all his work and Garcilaso adapted them to the Castilian meter with very good results.
Regarding the content, many of his poems reflect the great passion of Garcilaso for the Portuguese lady Isabel freyre. He met her at court in 1526 and her death in 1533 deeply affected him.
I choose these 5 sonnets out of the 40 who wrote, in addition to 3 eclogues.
Sonnet V - Your gesture is written in my soul
Your gesture is written in my soul,
and how much I want to write about you;
you wrote it by yourself, I read it
so alone, that even of you I keep myself in this.
In this I am and always will be;
that although it does not fit in me how much I see in you,
of so much good what I don't understand I think,
already taking faith for budget.
I was not born except to love you;
my soul has cut you to its measure;
out of habit of the soul itself I love you.
How much I have I confess I owe you;
I was born for you, for you I have life,
for you I must die, and for you I die.
Sonnet XIII - Daphne's arms were already growing
Daphne's arms were already growing,
and in long branches he showed himself;
in green leaves I saw that they became
the hair that the gold darkened.
They were covered with rough bark
the tender limbs, which were still bubbling:
the white feet on the ground knelt down,
and they turned into crooked roots.
He who was the cause of such damage,
by dint of crying, I grew
this tree that watered with tears.
Oh miserable state! Oh bad size!
That with crying it grows every day
the cause and the reason why he cried!
Sonnet IX - My lady, if I am absent from you ...
My lady, if I am absent from you
in this hard life and I don't die,
it seems to me that I offend what I love you,
and to the good that he enjoyed being present;
after this then I feel another accident,
which is to see that if I despair of life,
I lose how much good I hope from you;
And so I walk in what I feel differently.
In this difference my senses
they are, in your absence and in stubbornness,
I no longer know what to do in such a size.
I never see each other except at odds;
of such art they fight night and day,
that they only agree on my damage.
Sonnet VII - Who has lost so much lose no more ...
Do not lose more who has lost so much,
enough, love, what has happened to me;
good for me, I have never tried
to defend me from what you have wanted.
I have dressed your temple and its walls
of my wet clothes and adorned,
as it happens to who has already escaped
Free from the storm in which I was seen
I had sworn never to get in again,
at my power and my consent,
in another such danger, as vain.
But what comes I will not be able to use;
and in this I do not go against the oath;
that it is neither like the others nor in my hand.
Sonnet XIV - Like the tender mother, that the suffering ...
Like the tender mother, that the suffering
son is asking him with tears
something, of which eating
He knows that the evil he feels has to bend,
and that pious love does not allow him
that consider the damage that doing
what he asks him to do, he runs,
appease the crying and double the accident,
so to my sick and crazy thought
that in his damage he asks me, I would like
take away this deadly maintenance.
But ask me and cry every day
so much that how much he wants I consent to him,
forgetting their luck and even mine.
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