The BBC record their course España Viva taught by Salvador (1987)
Translations by Salvador:
Two Poems by Federico García Lorca from “ The Gypsy Ballads”
I have chosen these two poems not only for the uniqueness of Lorca’s language, but also because of his concern for the plight of women in the Spain of his time.(more)
When I translate, I always try to aim for three things: clarity, adequacy of expression and unity.
In the first poem “The Gypsy Nun”, Lorca describes the eagerness of the Nun to live without any social restrictions, and the pressure that the convent life brings to bear on her.
The second poem “The Unfaithful Wife” is the only poem in the book written in the first person. It’s a critical view of two of the great forces in the theatre of the Spanish Golden Age: virginity and honour. It is very important to use the right word: maid for mozuela and soiled for the adjective sucia. In some cases I had to change the word for clarity in English: cuchillos ( knifes) for ‘nails’; los árboles han crecido for ‘the trees seemed taller’, keeping the image of erection; horizonte (horizon) for ‘background’ and nardos (spikenard) for ‘rose petal’.