Francisco de Quevedo’s “Constant Love”

Constant Love
………………..after Quevedo’s ‘Amor constante’

by Gabrielle Ponce

The final shadow that will carry me
away on that white day could strike me blind,
and time unbind this soul of mine
from its bittersweet affinity.
But to this other part, and on this shore,
I will not leave the memory in which I burned.
My flame knows how to swim cold waters, and more,
to lose respect for laws it finds too stern.
Soul, for whom a god has been a prison,
Veins, who to the humors so much fire have given,
Marrows, that have gloriously risen,
You will leave your body, not your care;
You will be ashes, but you will feel it there;
Dust will you be, but dust eternally enamored.

“Cervantes to Veneziano”

“Cervantes to Veneziano” by Miguel Cervantes
Translated by Gabrielle Piedad Ponce-Hegenauer

In November 1579, just one month after his thirty-second birthday, a young soldier-poet by the name of Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), was being held in solitary confinement by Hasan Pachá following his fourth unsuccessful escape attempt from captivity in Algiers. By the age of twenty-one his lyric verse had made him the featured poet for the funeral exequies of Philip II of Spain’s third wife, Isabel de Valois; the volume was published in 1569. From 1569-1571 he had served Giulio Acquaviva in Rome. In 1571 he was he wounded at the Battle of Lepanto and lost the use of his left hand, earning him the epithet el manco de Lepanto. In September 1575 after departing Naples for the court in Madrid with letters of commendation from Don Juan de Austria and the Third Duke of Sessa, he was captured by Arnaut Mamí and sold into captivity in Algiers. He would not be ransomed until the fall of 1580.