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John Howard Reid

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Sequel Poem to bestselling A SALUTE TO SPANISH POETRY by John Howard Reid
by John Howard Reid

Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by John Howard Reid
•  ROSALIA de CASTRO The Old Road Del antiguo camino
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           >> View all 155

"To Love" translated from the Spanish of
Cristóbal de Castillejo, will be one of the poems featured in John Howard Reid's upcoming sequel to his anthology, "A Salute to Spanish Poetry" (currently number 15 in bestselling Poetry Anthologies at Amazon's Kindle store).


Al amor  


 por Cristóbal de Castillejo




Dame, Amor, besos sin quento,

asido de mis cabellos;


y mil y ciento tras ellos,

y tras ellos mil y ciento;


y después

de muchos millares, tres;


y porque nadie los sienta,

desbaratemos la cuenta

y contemos al revés.


To Love


 translated from the Spanish of

Cristóbal de Castillejo




Give me Love!

Give me kisses without number!

Bind them fast in my hair!


Add fifteen hundred after that;

and after that, lend me

eleven hundred more!


And many thousands later,

I want you to add just three –

three extra special kisses just for me!


Then, as a special favor –

and not to annoy accountants

and set them in a frenzy –

let’s rend these figures

null and void,

by counting backwards.


John Howard Reid
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Reviewed by John Howard Reid 9/1/2010
Thank you, John. You are absolutely correct! I knew this idea was familiar as I was translating Castillejo, but I couldn't place it. It's 30 years since I opened Catullus. In fact, I cut my teeth translating Virgil. My professor thought my work superior to Dryden, but then cut the floor from under me by stating there was no future in translating Latin. There were so many translations already. "Why don't you try some neglected language?" he asked. "Spanish, for instance?"
Reviewed by John Flanagan 9/1/2010
This Castillejo poem has its roots in Catullus V, ll 7-13:

...da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum;
dein cum milia multa fecerimus
conturbabimus illa ne sciamus
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

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