Tag Archives: Juan Ramón Jiménez Platero and I

Juan Ramon Jiménez, “Platero yo” – audibook



Posted here:

A complete recording of Platero y yo (Elegía analuza), by Juan Ramón Jiménez,

One of my favorite books.


— posted by Roger W. Smith




See also my post

Juan Ramón Jiménez reading his poetry (in Spanish)




Part I



Part II



Part III

“Comme on voit sur la branche au mois de mai la rose”


Click to hear “Ronsard” read in the original Spanish.


a9 Platero y yo 2014

a13 Platero and I 1978

cover - Lyrics of the French Renaissance




Libre ya Platero del cabestro, y paciendo entre las castas margaritas del pradecillo, me he echado yo bajo un pino, he sacado de la alforja moruna un breve libro y, abriéndolo por una señal, me he puesto á leer en alta voz:

Comme on voit sur la branche au mois de mai la rose

En sa belle jeunesse, en sa première fleur,

Rendre le ciel jaloux de…

Arriba, por las ramas últimas, salta y pía un leve pajarillo, que el sol hace, cual toda la verde cima suspirante, de oro. Entre vuelo y gorjeo, se oye el partirse de las semillas que el pájaro se está almorzando.

…jaloux de sa vive couleur…

Una cosa enorme y tibia avanza, de pronto, como una proa viva, sobre mi hombro… Es Platero, que, sugestionado, sin duda, por la lira de Orfeo, viene á leer conmigo. Leernos:

…vive couleur,

Quand l’aube de ses pleurs au point du jour l’a…

Pero el pajarillo, que debe digerir aprisa, tapa la palabra con una nota falsa.

Ronsard se debe haber reído en el infierno…


— Juan Ramón Jiménez, Platero y Yo: Elegía Andaluza




With Platero already free of his halter and grazing among the chaste daisies of the little meadow, I have stretched-out under a pine tree, taken a small book from my Moorish saddleback and opening it at a marker, have begun to read aloud:

Comme on voit sur la branche au mois de mai la rose

En sa belle jeunesse, en sa première fleur,

Rendre le ciel jaloux de…

Above, in the highest branches, hops and chirps a light bird, which the sun, together with the whole green, sighing treetop, turns to gold. Between flights and warbles, one can hear the crackling of the seeds of which the bird is making a meal.

…jaloux de sa vive couleur…

Something enormous and warm suddenly moves, like a living prow, over my shoulder …. It is Platero, who, attracted, no doubt, by Orpheus’ lyre, has come to read with me. We read:

…vive couleur,

Quand l’aube de ses pleurs au point du jour l’a…

But the tiny bird, who must digest quickly, covers the words with a false note.

Ronsard must have laughed in hell. …


— Juan Ramón Jiménez, Platero and I: An Andalusian Elegy; translated by Antonio T. de Nicolάs



Comme on voit sur la branche au mois de Mai la rose
En sa belle jeunesse, en sa première fleur
Rendre le ciel jaloux de sa vive couleur,
Quand l’Aube de ses pleurs au point du jour l’arrose :

La grâce dans sa feuille, et l’amour se repose,
Embaumant les jardins et les arbres d’odeur :
Mais battue ou de pluie, ou d’excessive ardeur,
Languissante elle meurt feuille à feuille déclose :

Ainsi en ta première et jeune nouveauté,
Quand la terre et le ciel honoraient ta beauté,
La Parque t’a tuée, et cendre tu reposes.

Pour obsèques reçois mes larmes et mes pleurs,
Ce vase plein de lait, ce panier plein de fleurs,
Afin que vif, et mort, ton corps ne soit que roses.

Pierre de Ronsard, Le Second Livre des Amours, II, iv


Just as, upon the branch, one sees the rose’s
Bud bloom in May, young blossom newly spread
Before the sky. jealous of its bright red,
As Dawn, sprinkling her tears, the morn discloses;

Beauty lies in its leaf, and love reposes,
Wafting its scent on tree, bush, flowerbed:
But, lashed by rain or torrid heat, soon: dead,
Leaf after leaf its fragile grace exposes.’

So too, blooming with youth, as earth and heaven
Honored your beauty, to Fate was it given
To slay your flesh, which now in ash reposes.’

Take thus these tears that I, in tribute, shed,
This jug of milk, these blossoms heaped, outspread,
So that in death, as life, that flesh be roses.

— translation by Norman R. Shapiro, in Lyrics of the French Renaissance: Marot, Du Bellay, Ronsard (Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 288-289



“Comme on voit sur la branche” est un extrait du recueil Sur la mort de Marie publié en 1578 par Pierre de Ronsard [1524-1558]. … La vie de Ronsard fut marquée en particulier par 3 femmes, Marie, Cassandre et Hélène, pour lesquelles il écrivit beaucoup. Ronsard composa ses poèmes surtout sur le thème de la fuite du temps, de l’expression des sentiments…

“Comme on voit sur la branche” est un poème officiel écrit sur demande d’Henri III, c’est-à-dire de circonstance, ce roi venait de perdre sa maîtresse Marie de Clèves décédée à 21 ans en 1574. Ce poème fait un parallèle avec la vie de Ronsard qui a été épris d’une paysanne Marie Dupin, morte en 1573.”



“Comme on voit sur la branche” is an excerpt from the collection On the Death of Mary published in 1578 by Pierre de Ronsard [1524-1585]. … Ronsard’s life was marked in particular by three women, Marie, Cassandre and Hélène, for whom he wrote a great deal. ….

“Comme on voit sur la branche” is an official poem written on request of Henry III, that is to say under the circumstance that this king had just lost his mistress Marie de Cleves, who died at 21 years of age in 1574. This poem is parallel with the life of Ronsard who was enamored of a peasant Marie Dupin, died in 1573.



“This poem and the one following are from a cycle of thirteen on “La Mort de Marie” (The Death of Marie) that constitute the second part of Le Second Livre des Amours. Most, if not all, of these poems sing Ronsard’s love, not of the idealized Marie d’ Anjou, as is most often thought, but of Marie de Clèves, wife of Henri de Bourbon, prince de Condé. See the Céard­Ménager-Simonin edition, where the editors note the influence on Ronsard of Petrarch’s poems on the death of Laura. Therein Ronsard found a theme that unified the second part of his own Second Livre des Amour.s and concealed its intended subjects: Marie de Clèves and the grieving Henri III. There are numerous echoes of Petrarch in this sequence.

Lyrics of the French Renaissance: Marot, Du Bellay, Ronsard, footnote, pg. 288


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   July 2019

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, “Platero y yo”



Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968; b. Italy; d. USA) was an Italian composer. He was regarded as one of the foremost guitar composers of the twentieth century.

Posted below is his musical setting of the Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez’s book in the form of a prose poem Platero y yo (Platero and I). The book is a simple, semi-autobiographical account about a poet and his donkey. It evokes the region of Andalusia in Spain and the town of Moguer, the author’s birthplace.

The musical setting by Castelnuovo-Tedesco was originally published in 1960 as “Platero y yo, per voce recitante e chitarra.” In other words, it was intended to be performed by guitar player with a narrator speaking the text. It is performed here on guitar without narration.

It consists of ten sections:

1 – Platero

2 – Golondrinas (Swallows)

3 – Angelus

4 – Retorno (Return)

5 – El Pozo (The Well)

6 – La Primavera (Spring)

7 – El Canario Vuela (The Canary Flies)

8 – La Arrulladora (Lullaby)

9 – Melancolia (Melancholy)

10 – A Platero en el cielo de Moguer (To Platero in the heaven of Moguer’s heaven)

— posted by Roger W. Smith

    May 2017