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I have a few questions about Spanish poetry. How well do English poems translate into Spanish? Which poems would you recommend for beginners in Spanish? I think Spanish is an incredibly beautiful language, so the literature must be beautiful as well. Who are your favorite Spanish poets? I really have no idea where to start with this so I would love any suggestions. Thank you!

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  • 2 months later...

I'm not particularly fond of most poetry myself, so I don't have any recommendations, exactly. However, I do know that things like poetry and song lyrics translate somewhat badly from one language to another. In order to make sure the poem scans properly in the new language, you often have to sacrifice some of the meaning from the original. The best example I can think of is 99 Luftbalons/99 Red Balloons. The songs sound very similar, but I'm told that the English version sacrificed quite a bit of meaning so that it'd work in English.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My favorite poems is Cantares by Antonio Machado.  It was set to music by Joan Manuel Serrat in the late 60s and it became one of his iconic songs.  He added more verses to the poem.  It truly is beautiful. 

Here are the verses written by Antonio Machado:

XLIV

Todo pasa y todo queda,

pero lo nuestro es pasar,

pasar haciendo caminos,

caminos sobre la mar.

I

Nunca perseguí la gloria,

ni dejar en la memoria

de los hombres mi canción;

yo amo los mundos sutiles,

ingrávidos y gentiles

como pompas de jabón.

Me gusta verlos pintarse

de sol y grana, volar

bajo el cielo azul, temblar

súbitamente y quebrarse.

Nunca perseguí la gloria.

XXIX

Caminante, son tus huellas

el camino, y nada más;

caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar.

Al andar se hace camino,

y al volver la vista atrás

se ve la senda que nunca

se ha de volver a pisar.

Caminante, no hay camino,

sino estelas en la mar.

----------------------------------------------------

And these are the verses added by Joan Manuel Serrat:

Hace algún tiempo, en ese lugar

donde hoy los bosques se visten de espinos,

se oyó la voz de un poeta gritar:

caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar,

golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

Murió el poeta lejos del hogar,

le cubre el polvo de un país vecino.

Al alejarse le vieron llorar,

caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar,

golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

Cuando el jilguero no puede cantar,

cuando el poeta es un peregrino,

cuando de nada nos sirve rezar,

caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar,

golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

http://youtu.be/Lj-W6D2LSlo

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