7 Famous Spanish Poems for Spanish Learning

“One poem a day keeps Spanish at bay!”

7 Famous Spanish Poems - learn Spanish poetry

Caligrama Neruda – Neruda Calligraphy

Perdón por el juego de palabras (Sorry for the pun), but you can really read famous spanish poems & improve your Spanish at the same time

If you will be able to listen a poem every day, your Spanish language knowledge will soar!

Ok, we can say the same for songs, movies, games, etc., but poems are possibly better because they (and literature in general) are the work of skilled writers and poets.

In this page you will find a selection of poetries in the Spanish language of many different countries and some suggestions on how to use them to learn Spanish.

Of course it’s better to begin with simple Spanish poems and,

But this is not always true… If you really like poetry yo can read a listen to any poem and learn spanish, we could say, “poem by poem”, i.e. “step by step”

Think of poetry as music without instruments!

Learn Spanish Poetry, Why?

So, what are the many reasons why learning Spanish with poetry is a great idea?

1. You will learn many new words

2. Poetry has a different sintax than the normal language

3. Poetry words create images

4. You can practice silent and aloud reading easily because poetries are normally short (reading poetry is much much simpler than reading a book or an article).

5. For famous Spanish poems you’ll find easily the English translation online

6. You can easily practice listening – again the text of a poetry is short

7. And… you can write poetries too, maybe very simple poetries, maybe not masterpieces. Petries can be very short and not necessarily logical like other texts, so you can write more freely.

8. By learning famous Spanish poems you will learn the culture of the of the

9. Poetries are easier to memorize

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Despedida (Farewell) by Federico Garcia Lorca – Spain

Si muero, dejad el balcón abierto.
If I die, leave the balcony doors open.
El niño come naranjas. (Desde mi balcón lo veo).
A boy eats oranges. (From my balcony, I see him.)
El segador siega el trigo. (Desde mi balcón lo siento).
The reaper reaps the wheat. (From my balcony, I hear him.)
¡Si muero, dejad el balcón abierto!
If I die, leave the balcony doors open.

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Lluvia (Rain) by Jorge Luis Borges – Argentina

Bruscamente la tarde se ha aclarado porque ya cae la lluvia minuciosa.
Suddenly the afternoon has brightened, for the minute rain is falling.
Cae o cayó. La lluvia es una cosa que sin duda sucede en el pasado.
Falling or fallen. There is no dispute: rain is a thing that happens in the past.

Quien la oye caer ha recobrado el tiempo en que la suerte venturosa
Who hears it fall retrieves a time that fled when an uncanny windfall
Le reveló una flor llamada rosa y el curioso color del colorado.
Could disclose to him a flower by the name of rose and the perplexing redness of its red.

Esta lluvia que ciega los cristales alegrará en perdidos arrabales,
Falling until it blinds each windowpane, within a suburb now long lost, this rain
Las negras uvas de una parra en cierto
Shall liven black grapes on a vine inside

Patio que ya no existe. La mojada tarde me trae la voz, la voz deseada,
A certain patio that is no more. A long-awaited voice through the downpour…
De mi padre que vuelve y que no ha muerto.
Is from my father. He has never died.

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Caminante (Traveler) by Antonio Machado – Spain

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más.
Traveler, it are your footprints that are the path, and nothing else.
Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.
Traveler, there is no path, a path is made by walking.
Al andar se hace el camino, y al volver la vista atrás
By walking you make the path and in looking back
Se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar.
One sees the trodden road that never will be set foot on again.
Caminante no hay camino sino estelas en la mar”.
Traveler, there is no path, but wakes on the sea…

These beautiful verses were written in 1912. This poem is taken from: Proverbios y cantares (XXIX) of the great Antonio Machado (1875, Sevilla). The music is ‘Bolero’ by Maurice Ravel. The scene is set in Rio Grande in Guaro, near Malaga, Spain.

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Cuando llegues a amar by Rubén Darío (Nicaragua)

Cuando llegues a amar, si no has amado, sabrás que en este mundo
When you come to love, if you have not loved, you will know that in this world
Es el dolor más grande y más profundo ser a un tiempo feliz y desgraciado.
Is the greatest and deepest pain be at one time happy and unhappy.

Corolario: el amor es un abismo de luz y sombra, poesía y prosa,
Corollary: love is an abyss of light and shadow, poetry and prose,
Y en donde se hace la más cara cosa que es reír y llorar a un tiempo mismo.
And where the most expensive thing is done which is to laugh and cry at the same time.

Lo peor, lo más terrible, es que vivir sin él es imposible.
The worst, the most terrible, is that living without it is impossible.

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Sabrás que no te amo y que te amo by Pablo Neruda – Chile

Sabrás que no te amo y que te amo, puesto que de dos modos es la vida,
You’ll know that I don’t love and love you, since there are two ways of life,
La palabra es un ala del silencio, el fuego tiene una mitad de frí­o.
The word is a wing of the silence, fire has its colf half.

Yo te amo para comenzar a amarte, para recomenzar el infinito
I love you to start loving you, to restart the infinite
Y para no dejar de amarte nunca: por eso no te amo todaví­a.
And not to stop loving you: so I do not love you yet.

Te amo y no te amo como si tuviera en mis manos las llaves de la dicha
I love you and don’t love as if I had in my hands the keys to ,
Y un incierto destino desdichado.
Aand an uncertain miserable fate.

Mi amor tiene dos vidas para armarte. Por eso te amo cuando no te amo
My love has two lives to love. That’s why I love you when I love you not,
Y por eso te amo cuando te amo.
And why I love you when I love you.

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Cultivo la rosa blanca by Josè Martì – Cuba

 

Cultivo una rosa blanca, en julio como en enero,
I grow a white rose, in July as in January,
Para el amigo sincero que me da su mano franca.
For the true friend who gives his frank hand to me.

Y para el cruel que me arranca el corazón con que vivo,
And for the cruel one who tears the heart by which I live,
Cardo ni oruga cultivo: cultivo la rosa blanca.
Thistle nor nettle do I grow: I grow the white rose.

This poetry is the second stanza of the well known cuban song “Guantanamera”. The other stanzas of the song are also adapted from the poetry collection “Versos sencillos” (Simple Verses). José Martí was a poet and the Cuban independence hero (1853-1895).

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Si supiera (If I knew) by Gabriel García Marquez – Colombia

 

Si supiera que esta fuese la última vez que te veo salir por esa puerta,
If I knew this is the last time I see you going out through that door,
Te daría un abrazo, un beso, te llamaría de nuevo para darte más…
I would give you a hug, a kiss, I would call you again to give you more…
Si supiera que esta fuera la última vez que voy a oír tu voz,
If I knew this was the last time I hear your voice,
Grabaría cada una de tus palabras para poder oírlas una y otra vez indefinidamente…
I would record each one of your words to be able to hear them forever.

Si supiera que estos son los últimos minutos que te veo
If I knew these were the last moments I see you
Diría te quiero y no asumiría tontamente que ya lo sabes.
I would tell you “I love you”, and I wouldn’t assume, sStupidly, that you already know it.
Siempre hay un mañana y la vida nos da otra oportunidad para hacer las cosas bien,
There is always a tomorrow and life gives us the opportunity to do things right,
Pero por si me equivoco y hoy es todo lo que nos queda…
But in case I’m wrong, and today is the only thing we have left…
Me gustaría decirte cuanto te quiero, que nunca te olvidaré…
I would like to tell you how much I love you, and that I’m never going to forget you. …

This is an except of theCarta de despedida” (farewell letter) by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez.

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Famous Spanish Poems – More Videos

There is a great number of famous Spanish poems on Youtube and other video websites. To find them you can write in the search bar on of the following strings of text:

“Spanish poetry” – “Spanish poems” – “Poesia española”

To find many Spanish poetry with lyrics on screen you can go to Youtube and type in the search bar:

Name of the poet + lyrics Name of the poet + words Name of the poet + text
Name of the poet + lirica Name of the poet + palabras Name of the poet + letras

If you don’t know any Spanish poet, click here for a list of them…

When Poetry Meets Songs and Movies

From the movie “La Novia” (The bride) – Inma Cuesta sings “La Tarara” a song by Antonio Vega also sang by the famous Spanish poet Garcia Lorca. This is a perfect example of a famous Spanish poems that gives you the chance to learn everything at once: Spanish culture, poetry, music and movies….

 

Tiene la Tarara un vestido verde lleno de volantes y de cascabeles.
The Tarara wears a green dress full of frills and bells.
La Tarara, sí, la tarara, no, la Tarara, niña, que la he visto yo.
The Tarara, yes, the Tarara, no, the Tarara, the girl whom I’ve seen.

Tiene la tarara unos pantalones que de arriba abajo todo son botones.
The tarara wears pants that from top to bottom are all buttons.
La Tarara, sí, la tarara, no, la Tarara, niña, que la he visto yo.
The Tarara, yes, the Tarara, no, the Tarara, the girl whom I’ve seen.

Ay, Tarara loca, mueve la cintura para los muchachos de las aceitunas.
Oh mad Tarara, she moves the waist for the boys of the olives.
La Tarara, sí, la tarara, no, la Tarara, niña, que la he visto yo.
The Tarara, yes, the Tarara, no, the Tarara, the girl whom I’ve seen.

Famous Spanish Poems – More Great Resources

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