The OF Blog: Mio Cid

Monday, July 04, 2011

Mio Cid

Decided to challenge myself a bit, so I began reading the opening to El poema de Mio Cid in Old Castilian.  Here's the first stanza:

De los sos oios     tan fuertemientre llorando,
tornava la cabeça     e estávalos catando;
vio puertas abiertas     e uços sin cañados,
alcándaras vazías,     sin pielles e sin mantos
e sin falcones     e sin adtores mudados.
Sospiró Mio Çid,     ca mucho avié grandes cuidados;
fabló Mio Çid     bien e tan mesurado:
"¡Grado a ti, Señor,     Padre que estás en alto!
"Esto me an buelto     mios enemigos malos."

Here is Mio Cid, or El Cid Campeador, if you prefer, getting ready to set out.  I love the use of description to set the stage for Mio Cid's sigh and his prayer to God.  It is promising that only a couple of words ("ca" in particular) had to be looked up in order to understand the passage fully.  Much better than when I did a parallel English/Old Castilian reading about five years ago.

Any of you familiar with El Cid or have read Cantar de Mio Cid/El Poema de Mio Cid in the original or in translation?


Daniel Ausema said...

I read it in college. I'm trying to remember if it was in the original or an updated version... I know I read El Libro de Buen Amor in old Castellano, and that was tough for me at the time (the same semester I read Mio Cid), so since I don't remember struggling as much with this, I'm guessing it was at least somewhat modernized. As little as they could, I think. I do remember it was the first time I came across the use of vos that wasn't in the vernacular Latin American-usage of, say, Argentina.

Good poem, anyway. I've reread bits of it now and then since then, but ought to dig it out and read it all again.

Daniel Ausema said...

Found my copy--it's labeled "Versión Métrica Moderna," and it looks, after a brief skim, like...the label is fitting.

For what it's worth, this is not the opening stanza in my copy: there's a whole 3-part, 130-line section labeled "El Rey Destierra al Cid," which takes place before your quoted lines. Looks like it was lost from some early manuscripts and rediscovered later. (There's also the "Invocación del Juglar" before that, but I'm guessing your version has that as well.)

Add to Technorati Favorites