Instant
Sonnet

Lope Féliz de
Vega Carpio
(1562-1635)
     Violante orders me to write a sonnet,
I've never been so pressed in my life before.
Fourteen verses, they say, are in a sonnet:
I haven't even tried and I have four.
     I thought I'd never find those fourteen lines
and here I'm halfway through another quatrain,
I only have to get to that first tercet
and then no line can ever hold me back.
     And now I'm at the start of tercet one.
It seems I started out on the right foot
because with the third line here's the conclusion.
      I've begun tercet two. I do believe
I'm coming to the end of thirteen verses;
see if there are fourteen: the sonnet's done.

§     §     §

Soneto de
Repente
     Un soneto me manda hacer Violante,
que en mi vida me he visto en tanto aprieto;
catorce versos dicen que es soneto:
buria burlando van los tres delante.
     Yo pensé que no hallara consonante
y estoy a la mitad de otro cuarteto,
mas si me veo en el primer terceto,
no hay cosa en los cuartetos que me espante.
     Por el primer terceto voy entrando,
y parece que entré con pie derecho,
pues fin con este verso le voy dando.
     Ya estoy en el segundo, y aun sospecho
que voy los trece versos acabando;
contad si son catorce, y está hecho.

--- From The Golden Age
Poems of the Spanish Rennaissance

Edith Grossman, Translator
(Norton)
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