Wednesday, 7 April 2010
The words of the 19th century Spanish writer, Bècquer, thrill and enthrall. His phrases and sentences are haunting and poetically woven.
My favourite is the final sentence in his 'leyenda' 'Los ojos verdes' (The Green Eyes).
The story tells of an arrogant young man who, against the best advice of his elders, enters a part of a forest where the waters of a spring are said to be inhabited by an evil spirit. He becomes enchanted by the 'impossible' green of the spirit's eyes.
Totally possessed, he is compelled by his desire to re-enter the forest. Entranced, he is obedient to the beckoning of the spirit whose icy kiss is his doom.
This sentence, chillingly beautiful, describes his final moment as he is drawn down beneath the surface. His reaction is not mentioned; only the reaction of the water closing over his body, its ripples widening until they reach the shore, is described.
It is not necessary to be a Spanish speaker - just pronounce every syllable. The words stand alone.
'Las aguas saltaron en chispas de luz y se cerraron sobre su cuerpo, y sus circulos de plata fueron ensanchándose, ensanchándose, hasta expirar en los orillas.'