Lynn Gumert,

Composer

 

D'estas aves

Florencia del Pinar is the first known Spanish woman poet. Little is known about her life, but some of her poems are published with the honorific “Dama,” (“Lady”), which suggests that she was from the upper class. I found this poem particularly compelling because of the image of the captive bird with which she identifies, knowing that historically women’s lives were very restricted. Another level of meaning in the poem is that the particular bird referred to is the partridge, which during this time period was an archetype of female sexuality because female partridges were known to be easily impregnated. This adds another layer of meaning to the poem’s imagery of captivity, or suppression.

The piece has two themes; the first one is a long-breathed, wide-ranging, and often melismatic melody that suggests flight. The second theme is strongly rhythmic and highly dissonant, and expresses the sorrow of which she speaks. The rhythm used in the second theme is characteristic of Latin American music. Many of the scales and melodic gestures draw from a typical Sephardic scale that includes a minor second-augmented second.

Instrumentation: SSAT, Soprano Recorder, Marimba, Percussion, Treble & Bass Viol

To listen to a sound recording, please click here.

D’estas aves su nación

Es cantar con alegría,

Y de vellas en prisión

Siento yo grave pasión,

Sin  sentir nadie la mía.

 

Ellas lloran que se vieron

Sin timor de ser cativas,

Y a quien eran más esquivas

Esos mismos las prendieron.

 

Sus nombres mi vida son

Que va perdiendo alegría.

Y de vellas en prisión

Siento yo grave pasión,

Sin sentir nadie la mía.

 

About these birds: their nature

Is to sing with happiness.

And to see them in prison,

I feel great sorrow,

Without anyone feeling my sorrow

 

They weep, that they flew

Without fear of being captives,

And those of whom they were most shy

Are the very ones that captured them.

 

Their names are my life,

As I go losing happiness.

And to see them in prison,

I feel great sorrow,

Without anyone feeling my sorrow.

208 Morrison Ave.

Hightstown, NJ 08520

(609) 490-0196

lynngumert@verizon.net

 

Copyright 2014 by Lynn Gumert.

All Rights Reserved.