By Rosalia de Castro
Edited and translated by Anna-Marie Aldaz, Barbara N. Gantt, Anne C. Bromley
Introduction by Anna-Marie Aldaz, Barbara N. Gantt
Foreword by Anne C. Bromley, and Joseph Boles

Subjects: Poetry
Series: SUNY series, Women Writers in Translation
Paperback : 9780791405833, 216 pages, July 1991
Hardcover : 9780791405826, 216 pages, July 1991

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Table of contents

Chronology of Important Dates
An Introduction to Rosalia de Castro

(An asterisk indicates that the poem is part of a series)

Selections from Cantares gallegos [Galician Songs]
I was born in springtime • Bells of Bastabales • Blessed Saint Anthony • Farewell to rivers, farewell to streams • Castilians of Castile

Selections from Follas novas [New Leaves]
Book I. Musings • They say whoever sings of doves and flowers • I know quite well • As the clouds • You will say these verses have a strange • New Leaves! your name • Some say: my land! • Whether in the heart of the night • Where is this peace • Once a nail pierced my heart • When we are happiest • Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, who can say when? • It is no longer bitterness, nor contempt • These voices that come and go • One heartbeat, then another • In winter I wondered • See my heart • With his wave's soft persistent whisper • I keep searching for honey and cool • My hand quivers, my heart beats

Book II. From the Heart
Flow on, serene, crystal waters • Into that cup from which you drink • There are soft loaves that come in secret • I knew pain and anger • When they wrap me in a shroud • They barked at me as I walked • My soul • Sea, with your depthless waters • Dig swiftly, dig • Just when I think you have fled • Take me to that crystal fountain • In the sky, clearest blue • I was robbed of my innocence • God placed a veil • "Tick-tock! Tick-tock!" the pendulum repeats • In late afternoon, when I go to pray • Endless May . .. endless May • Pale moon • How peacefully they glisten • *Padron!. ..Padron! • Why, merciful God • There were joyful mornings

Book III. Miscellany
The angels came down • Cold months of winter • Always a plaintive cry, a doubt • You say that marriage • I was born with a disease

Book IV. From the Earth
*I hate you, new fields

Book V. Widows of the Living and Widows of the Dead
*One after another departs • *No bread in the oven, no wood to burn

Selections from En las orillas del Sar [By the River Sar]
I hoped this small book of verse • *Through the evergreen • *I hear the soothing bells • Some are tall • The day was mild • Earth, to cover the unburied body • Sweet fragrance foretells • The air is white-hot • A gentle river, a narrow path • Stop a moment, restless thought • The sun was dying, and withered oak leaves • The rythmic crash of the wave • Along the beach, thirsty sands • Foolish soul as you flee from yourself • When I remember the golden sea • Along the old road, a pine-grove • In their tomb, passions now sleep • She believed you would reign forever in her soul • He feels that you, vital flame • Don't climb so high, foolish thought • Some slandered him • In their prisons of hawthorns and roses • The spring has ceased to flow- • The waters and hills are ashen • God knows all too well that those wholeave • Pale-hued rosebud • In his slanted blue eyes • Once he was the heaven of her soul, the dream of her dreams • "I love you . .. Why do you hate me?" • Black or white butterflies, I do not care • Though always pale, the moon changes • A mournful shadow, undefined and vague • Vertigo pulled his wild, blind fantasies • She carried one thought in her soul • When storm clouds gather • Rivers overflow when mountain streams • He longs for tranquility • When the North wind blows cold • In my small garden • Echoing slowly all the church bells • She feels regret • I care for a delicate plant • Birds in the air, moss on the rock • Thrown from its orbit, the human spirit tumbles • In the organ's echo or in the murmuring wind • They say the plants, streams, and birds do not speak • Every time she recalls that shame • She remembers the birds' warble • As long as the silver threads • The hearts of some people • Whenever I hear • I, in my bed of thistles- • Chased by a swift skylark • Should you arrive late to the feast of the gods • It was April, and the purple lilies • I love them and listen to them • Even though my body is freezing • You envy blondes • Those who are not in love think that • Human justice! I search for you • Incurably ill, she believed • My heart has one taut string • Those who cry are not alone • "This cup of fine gold • I am sure I was not born to hate • House after hour, day after day • Oh my Christ, when I forget you

Notes to Translations
Alphabetical Index to First Lines and Titles in Galician
Alphabetical Index to First Lines and Titles in Spanish


This book presents translations of poems by the Spanish poet, Rosalía de Castro, who is today considered one of the outstanding figures of nineteeth-century Spanish literature. Her poetry, often compared to that of Emily Dickinson, is characterized by an intimate lyricism, simple diction, and innovative prosody.

Included here are a critical introduction, notes to the translations, two of the poet's own autobiographical prologues that have never before been translated, and over one hundred poems translated from both Gallician and Spanish. The selected poems are from de Castro's most important books, Cantares gallgos; Follas novas; and En las orillas del Sar.

At Northern Arizona University, Anna-Marie Aldaz is Assistant Professor of Spanish. And Barbara N. Gantt is Associate Professor of Spanish. Anne C. Bromley is Assistant Professor of English at Radford University.


As a lover of Rosalía's poetry and a Galician myself, I was deeply touched by the beauty of this English rendering of her work, which will constitute a most valuable addition to Rosalía de Castro studies. " — Carlos Feal, State University of New York at Buffalo

"We are dealing here with an undervalued poet of unquestioned magnitude. The translations bear out the resemblances of Dickinson, Whitman, and other contemporaries of Rosalía de Castro. The commonalities in her world-view with those of the major poets of her era, bring us face to face with her universal genius — her readings of human nature in even the smallest and most unaffected of events and of places. Her poetic lights shine brightly here, and are capably introduced and sharply seen and situated in an international context. I would judge these translations as models of their kind. Had Rosalía written in English, these translations/poems would have come close to the verse she would have written: they are that much in harmony with the originals. " — Joseph Thomas Snow, University of Georgia