Juan Ramón Jiménez

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They should call the good man an ass! They should call the bad ass a man!
Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments.

Juan Ramón Jiménez (24 December 188129 May 1958) was a Spanish poet, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956.

Quotes[edit]

  • Nostalgia aguda, infinita,
    terrible, de lo que tengo.
    • Sharp nostalgia, infinite
      And terrible, for what I already possess!
    • "South", in Poesía, en verso, 1917–1923 (1923), p. 97.
  • Back of my forehead I feel tonight
    A whole sky full of stars. Under
    a western moon.
    Life is indeed lovely!
    • "Western Moon" in Canción (1935).
  • Literature is a state of culture, poetry is a state of grace, before and after culture.
    • "Poetry and Literature" (1941), as translated in Selected Writings (1957).
  • A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. When we say an artist is in a state of transition, many believe that we are belittling. In my opinion when people speak of an art of transition this indicates a better art and the best that art can give. Transition is a complete present which unites the past and the future in a momentary progressive ecstasy, a progressive eternity, a true eternity of eternities, eternal moments. Progressive ecstasy is above all dynamic; movement is what sustains life and true death is nothing but lack of movement, be the corpse upright or supine. Without movement life is annihilated, within and without, for lack of dynamic cohesion. But the dynamism should be principally of the spirit, of the idea, it should be a moral dynamic ecstasy, dynamic in relation to progress, ecstatic in relation to permanence.
    • "Heroic Reason", as translated by H. R. Hays, in Selected Writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez (1957) edited by Eugenio Florit, p. 231.
  • Dynamic ecstasy is absolute romanticism, absolute heroism. And here I return to my point. From my point of view, after the catastrophe which we feel and think is universal, a catastrophe resulting from an excess of useless dynamism of useless progress, of useless realism, of useless technology, after this an unattainable democracy is to be reached through the conception and realization of a new romanticism.
    • "Heroic Reason", as translated by H. R. Hays, in Selected Writings of Juan Ramon Jimenez (1957) edited by Eugenio Florit, p. 231.
  • I have a feeling that my boat
    has struck, down there in the depths,
    against a great thing.
    And nothing
    happens! Nothing … Silence … Waves.
    — Nothing happens? Or Has everything happened,
    and we are standing now, quietly, in the new life?
    • "Oceans", as translated by Robert Bly; quoted in Opening Our Moral Eye : Essays, Talks & Poems Embracing Creativity & Community (1996) by Mary Caroline Richards.

‪Platero and I‬ (1917)[edit]

Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life
He is as loving and tender as a child, but strong and sturdy as a rock.
Platero y yo (1917)
  • This short book, where joy and sadness are twins, like the ears of Platero, was written for … I have no idea for whom! … For whomever lyric poets write …
    • "A NOTE TO THOSE GROWNUPS WHO MIGHT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN", as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. xv.
  • Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life, a sea of mourning; let your breeze lend me its lyre high and sometimes senseless like the trill of the lark in the white sun of morning.
    I have never written nor will I ever write anything for children, because I believe the child can read the books that grownups read, with some few exceptions that come to everyone's mind. There are of course exceptions too for men and for women.
    • "A NOTE TO THOSE GROWNUPS WHO MIGHT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN", as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. xv.
  • Platero is a small donkey, a soft, hairy donkey: so soft to the touch that he might be said to be made of cotton, with no bones. Only the jet mirrors of his eyes are hard like two black crystal scarabs.
    • Ch. 1 : Platero, as translated by Eloïse Roach (1957).
  • He is as loving and tender as a child, but strong and sturdy as a rock. When on Sundays I ride him through the lanes in the outskirts of the town, slow-moving countrymen, dressed in their Sunday clean, watch him a while, speculatively:
    "He is like steel," they say.
    Steel, yes. Steel and moon silver at the same time.
    • Ch. 1 : Platero, as translated by Eloïse Roach (1957).
  • The man wants to stick his iron pick in the little basket, and I do not prevent him. I open the knapsack, and he sees nothing in it. And the food for the soul passes, candid and free, without paying tribute to the customs.
    • Ch. 2 : White Butterflies, as translated by Eloïse Roach (1957).
  • They should call the good man an ass! They should call the bad ass a man! ]]Ironically]] … to speak thus of you, so smart, friend of the old and the young, of the stream and the butterfly, of the sun and the dog, of the flower and the moon, patient and thoughtful, melancholic and lovable, the Marcus Aurelius of the fields…
    • Ch. 55: "Donkeyography" as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. 66; also translated as "Assography" in translation by Eloïse Roach.

External links[edit]

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