Platero and I/Platero y yo: A Dual-Language Book

Platero and I/Platero y yo: A Dual-Language Book

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Recipient of the 1956 Nobel Prize for Literature, Jian Ramón Jiménez (1881–1958) ranks among the foremost Spanish poets. The early influences of German Romanticism and French Symbolism led Jiménez to the development of his unique voice, and he became a leader in the vanguard known as the modernistas, who staged a Spanish literary revival at the turn of the twentieth century.
Jiménez's most popular work, Platero y yo, unfolds in his native Andalusia. A series of autobiographical prose poems about the wanderings of a young writer and his donkey, it first appeared in a shorter version, suitable for children, in 1914. This new, accurate English translation is drawn from the complete edition, which was published in 1917. The only dual-language edition of this classic of Spanish literature, it is accompanied by an excellent introduction and explanatory notes that will assist students in understanding and appreciating this work.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486435657
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 06/04/2004
Series: Dover Dual Language Spanish
Edition description: Bilingual
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 735,873
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

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Platero and I Platero y yo

A Dual-Language Book


By Juan Ramón Jiménez, STANLEY APPELBAUM

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12043-0



CHAPTER 1

I: Platero

Platero es pequeño, peludo, suave; tan blando por fuera, que se diría todo de algodón, que no lleva huesos. Sólo los espejos de azabache de sus ojos son duros cual dos escarabajos de cristal negro.

Lo dejo suelto, y se va al prado, y acaricia tibiamente con su hocico, rozándolas apenas, las florecillas rosas, celestes y gualdas ... Lo llamo dulcemente: «¿Platero?», y viene a mí con un trotecillo alegre que parece que se ríe, en no sé qué cascabeleo ideal ...

Come cuanto le doy. Le gustan las naranjas, mandarinas, las uvas moscateles, todas de ámbar, los higos morados, con su cristalina gotita de miel ...

Es tierno y mimoso igual que un niño, que una niña ...; pero fuerte y seco por dentro, como de piedra. Cuando paso sobre él, los domingos, por las últimas callejas del pueblo, los hombres del campo, vestidos de limpio y despaciosos, se quedan mirándolo:

—Tien' asero ...

Tiene acero. Acero y plata de luna, al mismo tiempo.


II: Mariposas blancas

La noche cae, brumosa ya y morada. Vagas claridades malvas y verdes perduran tras la torre de la iglesia. El camino sube, lleno de sombras, de campanillas, de fragancia de yerba, de canciones, de cansancio y de anhelo. De pronto, un hombre oscuro, con una gorra y un pincho, roja un instante la cara fea por la luz del cigarro, baja a nosotros de una ca-sucha miserable, perdida entre sacas de carbón. Platero se amedrenta.

—¿Ba argo?

—Vea usted ... Mariposas blancas ...

El hombre quiere clavar su pincho de hierro en el seroncillo, y no lo evito. Abro la alforja y él no ve nada. Y el alimento ideal pasa, libre y cándido, sin pagar su tributo a los Consumos ...


III: Juegos del anochecer

Cuando, en el crepúsculo del pueblo, Platero y yo entramos, ateridos, por la oscuridad morada de la calleja miserable que da al río seco, los niños pobres juegan a asustarse, fingiéndose mendigos. Uno se echa un saco a la cabeza, otro dice que no ve, otro se hace el cojo ...

Después, en ese brusco cambiar de la infancia, como llevan unos zapatos y un vestido, y como sus madres, ellas sabrán cómo, les han dado algo de comer, se creen unos príncipes:

—Mi pare tié un reló e plata.

—Y er mío, un cabayo.

—Y er mío, una ejcopeta.

Reloj que levantará a la madrugada, escopeta que no matará el hambre, caballo que llevará a la miseria ...


El corro, luego. Entre tanta negrura una niña forastera, que habla de otro modo, la sobrina del Pájaro Verde, con voz débil, hilo de cristal acuoso en la sombra, canta entonadamente, cual una princesa:

Yo soy laaa viudiiitaa del Condeee de Oréé ...

... ¡Sí, sí! ¡Cantad, soñad, niños pobres! Pronto, al amanecer vues-tra adolescencia, la primavera os asustará, como un mendigo, enmas-carada de invierno.

—Vamos, Platero ...


IV: El eclipse

Nos metimos las manos en los bolsillos, sin querer, y la frente sintió el fino aleteo de la sombra fresca, igual que cuando se entra en un pinar espeso. Las gallinas se fueron recogiendo en su escalera amparada, una a una. Alrededor, el campo enlutó su verde, cual si el velo morado del altar mayor lo cobijase. Se vio, blanco, el mar lejano, y algunas estrellas lucieron, pálidas. ¡Cómo iban trocando blancura por blancura las azoteas! Los que estábamos en ellas nos gritábamos cosas de inge-nio mejor o peor, pequeños y oscuros en aquel silencio reducido del eclipse.

Mirábamos el sol con todo: con los gemelos de teatro, con el an-teojo de larga vista, con una botella, con un cristal ahumado; y desde


V: Escalofrío

La luna viene con nosotros, grande, redonda, pura. En los prados soñolientos se ven, vagamente, no sé qué cabras negras, entre las zarzamoras ... Alguien se esconde, tácito, a nuestro pasar ... Sobre el vallado, un almendro inmenso, níveo de flor y de luna, revuelta la copa con una nube blanca, cobija el camino asaeteado de estrellas de marzo . . . Un olor penetrante a naranjas ... humedad y silencio ... La cañada de las Brujas ...

—¡Platero, qué ... frío!

Platero, no sé si con su miedo o con el mío, trota, entra en el arroyo, pisa la luna y la hace pedazos. Es como si un enjambre de claras rosas de cristal se enredara, queriendo retenerlo, a su trote ...

Y trota Platero, cuesta arriba, encogida la grupa cual si alguien le fuese a alcanzar, sintiendo ya la tibieza suave, que parece que nunca llega, del pueblo que se acerca ...


VI: La miga

Si tú vinieras, Platero, con los demás niños, a la miga, aprenderías el a, b, c, y escribirías palotes. Sabrías tanto como el burro de las Figuras de cera—el amigo de la Sirenita del Mar, que aparece coronado de flores de trapo, por el cristal que muestra a ella, rosa toda, carne y oro, en su verde elemento—; más que el médico y el cura de Palos, Platero.

Pero, aunque no tienes más que cuatro años, ¡eres tan grandote y and from all sides: from the balcony, from the steps in the yard, from the barn window, from the iron grille in the patio with its scarlet and blue panes....

When the sun, which a moment before had made everything two, three, a hundred times bigger and better with its complications of light and gold, became hidden, without the long transition of twilight, it left everything lonely and impoverished, as if it had at first been exchanging gold coins, and then silver for copper. The town was like a nickel, moldy and already worthless as tender. How sad and small were the streets, the squares, the tower, the roads to the hills!

There in the yard Platero seemed like a less real donkey, different, a jagged outline; another donkey....


VII: El loco

Vestido de luto, con mi barba nazarena y mi breve sombrero negro, debo cobrar un extraño aspecto cabalgando en la blandura gris de Platero.

Cuando, yendo a las viñas, cruzo las últimas calles, blancas de cal con sol, los chiquillos gitanos, aceitosos y peludos, fuera de los harapos verdes, rojos y amarillos, las tensas barrigas tostadas, corren detrás de nosotros, chillando largamente:

—¡El loco! ¡El loco! ¡El loco!

... Delante está el campo, ya verde. Frente al cielo inmenso y puro, de un incendiado añil, mis ojos—¡tan lejos de mis oídos!—se abren noblemente, recibiendo en su calma esa placidez sin nombre, esa serenidad armoniosa y divina que vive en el sin fin del horizonte ...

Y quedan, allá lejos, por las altas eras, unos agudos gritos, velados finamente, entrecortados, jadeantes, aburridos:

—¡El lo ... co! ¡El lo ... co!


VIII: Judas

¡No te asustes, hombre! ¿Qué te pasa? Vamos, quietecito ... Es que están matando a Judas, tonto.

Sí, están matando a Judas. Tenían puesto uno en el Monturrio, otro en la calle de Enmedio, otro, ahí, en el Pozo del Concejo. Yo los vi delicate! On what seat would you sit, at what desk would you write, what primer or what pen would be big enough for you, in which position in the circle would you chant the Apostles' Creed, tell me?

No. Doña Domitila—habited like the images of Jesus the Nazarene, all purple with a yellow cord, just like Reyes, the sea-bream vendor—would probably make you kneel for two hours in a corner of the patio with the sycamores, or she'd rap your forelegs with her long, thin rattan, or she'd eat up the quince pulp you had brought for lunch, or she'd put a burning paper under your tail and she'd make your ears as red and hot as the field foreman's son's get when it's going to rain....

No, Platero, no. Come with me. I'll teach you the flowers and the stars. And people won't laugh at you the way they laugh at a slow child, nor, as if you were what they call a donkey, will they make you wear the cap with the big eyes rimmed with indigo and red ocher, like the ones on the river boats, with two ears twice as big as yours.


I: Platero

Platero is small, thick-coated, soft; so spongy on the outside you'd say he was all of cotton, boneless. Only the jet mirrors of his eyes are hard as two black-crystal scarabs.

I let him loose, and he goes to the meadow, where with his warm muzzle, barely brushing them, he caresses the little pink, sky-blue, and yellow flowers ... I call to him softly, "Platero?" and he comes to me at a merry little trot that makes him appear to be laughing, with a certain fanciful tinkling of bells....

He eats whatever I give him. He likes oranges, mandarins, muscat grapes, all highly fragrant, and purple figs with their tiny crystalline drop of honey....

He's as tender and affectionate as a little boy or girl ... but strong and firm within, as if made of stone. When I ride him on Sundays through the outlying streets of the town, the rustics, moving slowly in their clean clothes, stop to look at him:

"He's a plucky one." ...

He's got pluck, there's steel in him. Steel and moon-silver at the same time.


II: White Butterflies

Night is falling, already foggy and purple. Vague patches of mauve and green brightness linger behind the church tower. The road rises, filled with shadows, bellflowers, fragrant grass, songs, weariness, and yearning. Suddenly a dark man with a peaked cap and a toll-collector's pointed rod, his ugly face reddened for a moment by the light of his cigar, comes down to us from a wretched little hut buried in sacks of charcoal. Platero gets frightened.

"Anything to declare?"

"Take a look ... White butterflies ..."

The man wants to thrust his iron rod into the little pannier, and I offer no resistance. I open the saddlebag and he sees nothing. And the imaginary foodstuffs pass, free and frank, without paying their tribute to the revenue office....


III: Games at Nightfall

When, in the twilight of the town, Platero and I, stiff with cold, enter the purple darkness of the wretched lane that leads to the dried-up river, the children of the poor play at scaring one another, pretending to be beggars. One of them places a sack over his head, another one says he can't see, yet another makes believe he's lame....

Afterward, in one of those abrupt turnabouts peculiar to children, since they are wearing shoes and clothing, and since somehow or other their mothers have been able to give them something to eat, they think they're princes:

"My dad has a silver watch."

"Mine's got a horse."

"And mine's got a rifle."

A watch that will awaken him at dawn, a rifle that won't kill his hunger, a horse that will carry him to penury....

Then they form a ring. Amid so much swarthiness, a girl from out of town, with a different accent, Green Bird's niece, sings in a weak voice, a thread of watery crystal in the shadow, but in perfect tune, as if she were a princess:

I am the widow of the Count of Oré ...


... Yes, yes! Sing, play music, children of the poor! Soon, when your adolescence dawns, springtime will scare you, like a beggar, disguised as winter.

"Let's go, Platero." ...


IV: The Eclipse

We put our hands in our pockets, involuntarily, and our forehead felt the gentle flutter of the cool shade, just as if we were entering a dense pinewood. The hens were retiring on their protected roost, one by one. All around, the fields put on mourning on top of their green, as if the purple veil of the high altar were covering them. The distant sea could be seen, white, and a few stars shone, palely. How the roof terraces were exchanging one whiteness for another! We who were standing on them called out more or less witty remarks, small and dark as we were in that confined silence of the eclipse.

We were looking at the sun with all available means: with opera glasses, with a high-powered telescope, through a bottle, through smoked glass; todas partes: desde el mirador, desde la escalera del corral, desde la ventana del granero, desde la cancela del patio, por sus cristales granas y azules ...

Al ocultarse el sol que, un momento antes, todo lo hacía dos, tres, cien veces más grande y mejor con sus complicaciones de luz y oro, todo, sin la transición larga del crepúsculo, lo dejaba solo y pobre, como si hubiera cambiado onzas primero y luego plata por cobre. Era el pueblo como un perro chico, mohoso y ya sin cambio. ¡Qué tristes y qué pequeñas las calles, las plazas, la torre, los caminos de los montes!

Platero parecía, allá en el corral, un burro menos verdadero, diferente y recortado; otro burro ...


V: A Chill

The moon comes with us, large, round, pure. In the sleepy meadows there can be vaguely seen some black goats or other, among the blackberry bushes.... Someone hides silently as we pass by.... On the bank, an immense almond tree, snowy with blossom and moonlight, its top tangled in a white cloud, shelters the road, which is assailed by the arrows of the March stars ... A pungent fragrance of oranges ... humidity and silence ... The Witches' Gorge ...

"Platero, how ... cold it is!"

Platero, I don't know whether through his own fear or through mine, breaks into a trot, enters the stream, treads on the moon, and shatters it to bits. It's as if a swarm of bright crystal roses were twining around his trotting legs, seeking to hold him back....

And Platero trots uphill, his rump hunched up as if someone were about to catch up with him; he already senses the gentle warmth, which it seems he'll never reach, of the town which is getting closer....


VI: The Kindergarten

Platero, if you were to come to the kindergarten with the rest of the children, you'd learn the alphabet and you'd draw pothooks. You'd know as much as the donkey in the waxworks—the friend of the mermaid, the one wreathed with cloth flowers seen through the glass that shows her, all pink, flesh-color, and gold, in her green element—and you'd know more than the doctor and the priest in Palos, Platero.

But, even though you aren't over four, you're such a big lad and so intan poco fino! ¿En qué sillita te ibas a sentar tú, en qué mesa ibas tú a escribir, qué cartilla ni qué pluma te bastarían, en qué lugar del corro ibas a cantar, di, el Credo?

No. Doña Domitila—de hábito de Padre Jesús de Nazareno, morado todo con el cordón amarillo, igual que Reyes, el besuguero—, te tendría, a lo mejor, dos horas de rodillas en un rincón del patio de los plátanos, o te daría con su larga caña seca en las manos, o se co-mería la carne de membrillo de tu merienda, o te pondría un papel ardiendo bajo el rabo y tan coloradas y tan calientes las orejas como se le ponen al hijo del aperador cuando va a llover ...

No, Platero, no. Vente tú conmigo. Yo te enseñaré las flores y las estrellas. Y no se reirán de ti como de un niño torpón, ni te pondrán, cual si fueras lo que ellos llaman un burro, el gorro de los ojos grandes ribeteados de añil y almagra, como los de las barcas del río, con dos orejas dobles que las tuyas.


VII: The Madman

Dressed in mourning, with my Nazarene beard and my narrow black hat, I must cut a strange figure as I ride on Platero's soft gray back.

When, coming to the vineyards, I cross the outlying streets, whitewashed in the sunlight, the little Gypsy children, greasy and long-haired, their taut, tanned bellies hanging out of their green, red, and yellow tatters, run after us, screeching at length:

"The madman! The madman! The madman!"

Before us are the fields, already green. Facing the immense, clear sky, of a blazing indigo, my eyes—so far from my ears!—open nobly, welcoming in its calm that indescribable placidity, that harmonious, divine serenity which dwells in the limitlessness of the horizon....

And far back, on the high threshing floors, there linger a few high-pitched cries, subtly veiled, faltering, panting, bored:

"The mad ... man! The mad ... man!"


VIII: Judas

"Don't be scared, fellow! What's wrong with you? Come on, calm down ... They're just killing Judas, silly!"

Yes, they're killing Judas. They had placed one on the Monturrio, another on the Calle de Enmedio, and another there at the Council Well. I saw them anoche, fijos como por una fuerza sobrenatural en el aire, invisible en la oscuridad la cuerda que, de doblado a balcón, los sostenía. ¡Qué grotescas mescolanzas de viejos sombreros de copa y mangas de mujer, de caretas de ministros y miriñaques, bajo las estrellas serenas! Los perros les ladraban sin irse del todo, y los caballos, recelosos, no querían pasar bajo ellos ...

Ahora las campanas dicen, Platero, que el velo del altar mayor se ha roto. No creo que haya quedado escopeta en el pueblo sin disparar a Judas. Hasta aquí llega el olor de la pólvora. ¡Otro tiro! ¡Otro!

... Sólo que Judas, hoy, Platero, es el diputado, o la maestra, o el forense, o el recaudador, o el alcalde, o la comadrona; y cada hombre descarga su escopeta cobarde, hecho niño esta mañana del Sábado Santo, contra el que tiene su odio, en una superposición de vagos y ab-surdos simulacros primaverales.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Platero and I Platero y yo by Juan Ramón Jiménez, STANLEY APPELBAUM. Copyright © 2004 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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