Lope de Vega

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Lope de Vega

Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (or Lope Félix de Vega Carpio) (November 25 1562August 27 1635) was a Spanish Baroque playwright and poet. His surviving plays, numbering more than 400, form the foundation of the Spanish dramatic tradition.

Sourced[edit]

  • Huir el rostro al claro desengaño,
    beber veneno por licor süave,
    olvidar el provecho, amar el daño;
    creer que un cielo en un infierno cabe,
    dar la vida y el alma a un desengaño;
    esto es amor. Quien lo probó lo sabe.
    • To turn your face from clear proofs of deceit,
      To drink poison as if it were a soothing liquor,
      To disregard gain and delight in being injured.
      To believe that heaven can lie contained in hell;
      To devote your life and soul to being disillusioned;
      This is love; whoever has tasted it, knows.
    • Sonnet, "Desmayarse, atreverse, estar furioso", line 9, from Rimas (1602); cited from José Manuel Blecua (ed.) Lírica (Madrid: Clásicos Castalia, [1981] 1999) p. 136. Translation from Eugenio Florit (ed.) Introduction to Spanish Poetry (New York: Dover, [1964] 1991) p. 65.
  • De poetas no digo: buen siglo es éste. Muchos están en ciernes para el año que viene; pero ninguno hay tan malo como Cervantes ni tan necio que alabe a don Quijote.
    • And what shall I say of the poets? Oh, this poor century of ours! In the coming year many of them will make their start, but not one of them is as bad as Cervantes, or idiotic enough to praise Don Quixote.
    • Letter dated August 14, 1604; cited from Nicolás Marín (ed.) Cartas (Madrid: Clásicos Castalia, 1985) p. 68. Translation by Ilsa Barea, from Sebastià Juan Arbó Cervantes: Adventurer, Idealist, and Destiny's Fool (London: Thames and Hudson, 1955) p. 204.
  • Como las paga el vulgo, es justo
    hablarle en necio para darle gusto.
    • Since after all, it is the crowd who pays,
      Why not content them when you write your plays?
    • Arte nuevo de hacer comedias en este tiempo, line 47. (1609). Translation from Marvin A. Carlson Theories of the Theatre (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, [1984] 1993) p. 62.
  • Lord, what am I, that, with unceasing care,
    Thou didst seek after me, — that Thou didst wait,
    Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate,
    And pass the gloomy nights of winter there?
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 89.

La Dorotea (1632)[edit]

  • A mis soledades voy,
    de mis soledades vengo,
    porque para andar conmigo
    me bastan mis pensamientos.
    • Lone I muse but feel not lonely,
      Covert solitude’s my lore;
      For my company I only
      Want my thoughts and nothing more.
    • Act I, sc. iv. Translation from John Armstrong Crow An Anthology of Spanish Poetry (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1979) p. 107.
  • Dijeron que antiguamente
    se fue la verdad al cielo;
    tal la pusieron los hombres,
    que desde entonces no ha vuelto.
    En dos edades vivimos
    los propios y los ajenos:
    la de plata los estraños,
    y la de cobre los nuestros.
    • In ancient days they said truth had fled to heaven: attacked on every side, it's not been heard of since. We live in different ages, non-Spaniards and ourselves: they in the age of silver, we in the age of brass.
    • Act I, sc. iv. Translation from Alan S. Trueblood and Edwin Honig (ed. and trans.) La Dorotea (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1985) p. 23.
  • Pero la vida es corta:
    viviendo, todo falta;
    muriendo, todo sobra.
    • But life is short: while one lives, everything is lacking; when one is dead, everything is superfluous.
    • Act III, sc. vii. Translation from Arthur Terry Seventeenth-Century Spanish Poetry (Cambridge: CUP, 1993) p. 118.

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