GALICIAN SONGS by Rosalía de Castro
Rosalía de Castro (1837-1885) is considered the founder of modern Galician literature. She wrote three major books of poetry: two in Galician, Galician Songs and New Leaves, and one in Spanish, On the Banks of the Sar. Nourished by the popular songs the author heard around her, Galician Songs was first published in 1863 and dedicated on 17 May, the date that a hundred years later, in 1963, would become Galician Literature Day. In her poetry, there is a little from all the world and a lot from Galicia. There are brides who mourn for their bridegrooms, gone abroad to become workers; there is unrequited love, lamented by both maidens and bachelors; there is sorrow for the abandoned homeland and sorrow for the homeland that is shared, equal to God’s blessing in its fertility. Without being religious, this poetry is rich in spirituality from the Holy Scriptures, from the scriptures of our ancestors. Without being balladic or dramatic, there are places where the text speaks with the voice of Shakespeare or with that of the Bulgarian classics Slaveykov and Bagriana.