Monday, February 11, 2008


When, some years ago, I was considering what looked like a retreat into simplicity, I remember thinking much of Yeats' "Lake Isle of Innisfree." The following from Fray Luis de Leon has been occupying my thoughts in a similar way more recently:

Dichose el humilde estado
del sabio que se retira
de aqueste mundo malvado,
y con pobre mesa y casa,
en el campo deleitoso
con solo Dios se compasa,
y a solas su vida pasa,
ni envidiado ni envidioso.

This is from an anthology recently published called "The Golden Age: Poems of the Spanish Renaissance," with parallel English translation by Edith Grossman.

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