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The 15 best poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (with explanation)

The 15 best poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (with explanation)

March 1, 2021

The poetry of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer has been recognized as one of the most representative in Hispanic literature. It is characterized by brief rhymes of intimate tone, and the content by contradictions and themes that go from the dream, the reason and the woman, to the popular and the aristocracy.

In this article we will see several of the best poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer , one of the most important Spanish poets.

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15 poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was born in Seville in 1836 and died in the same city, at 34 years old, in 1870 due to tuberculosis. His posthumous work, located in romanticism, has become one of the most representative of Spanish literature. Likewise, the influence of this poet went beyond the limits of literature to be placed also in the painting, since he was an excellent draftsman, that was recovered by the later artistic critic.


His most recognized work is Rhymes and Legends which is a compilation of his poems and stories. Currently, the latter is considered one of the classic and compelling works in Hispanic literature. We will see below some of the most popular rhymes of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.

1. Rima I

I know a giant and strange hymn that announces in the night of the soul an aurora, and these pages are of this hymn cadences that the air dilates in the shadows. I would like to write it, of the man taming the rebellious, mean language, with words that were both sighs and laughter, colors and notes. But in vain it is to fight; that there is no figure capable of enclosing him, and just oh beautiful! if, having my hands in yours, I could, in my ear, sing it to you alone.


Several verses that reflect the limitations of language to express feelings.

2. Rima II

I have peered into the deep chasms of earth and sky, and I have seen the end either with my eyes or with my thoughts. But oh! from a heart I reached the abyss and I bowed for a moment, and my soul and my eyes were disturbed: So deep it was and so black!

A comparison between the world of knowledge and that of emotions .

3. Rima III

In the key of the badly sure arch whose stones the time reddened, work of rough chisel rested the Gothic blazon. Plume of its granite helmet, the ivy that hung around gave shade to the shield in which a hand had a heart. To contemplate him in the deserted square we both stopped. And, that, he told me, is the perfect emblem of my constant love. Oh, it's true what he told me then: true that the heart will carry it in the hand ... anywhere ... but not in the chest.


Verses about the inability to connect with reality.

4. Rima VII

From the living room in the dark corner, from its owner perhaps forgotten, silent and covered with dust, the harp was visible. How much note he slept on his strings, as the bird sleeps on the branches, waiting for the hand of snow that knows how to pluck them! Oh, I thought; How many times the genie thus sleeps in the depths of the soul, and a voice like Lazarus waits for him to say, "Get up and walk!"

A single object can inspire rhymes as inspired as these.

5. Rima IX

Kiss the aura softly moans the slight waves that play ripples; the sun kisses the cloud in the west and purple and gold nuances it; the flame around the burning trunk for kissing another flame slips; and even the willow, bowing to its weight, to the river that kisses it, returns a kiss.

Example of a scene description attributing human characters to different inanimate elements .

6. Rhyme X

The invisible atoms of the air around it throb and become inflamed; the sky dissolves in golden rays; the earth trembles in joy; I hear floating in waves of harmony rumor of kisses and beat of wings; my eyelids close ... What happens? - It's love that happens!

Several sensations related to the way in which Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer experiences love .

7. Rima XIV

Sometimes I meet her around the world and she passes by me and she smiles and I say, How can she laugh? Then another mask of pain appears on my lip, and then I think: "She laughs, as I laugh.

This is one of the poems of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer that are based on the simplicity of a single anecdote.

8. Rima XVI

When they told me I felt the coldness of a steel blade in my guts, I leaned against the wall, and for a moment my conscience lost where I was from. The night fell in my spirit in anger and in pity the soul was flooded and then I understood why it cries! And then I understood why he is killed! The cloud of pain passed ... with regret I managed to babble brief words ... Who gave me the news? ... A faithful friend ... He did me a great favor ...I thanked.

On the arrival of a fateful news.

9. Rima XXI

What is poetry ?, you say as you stick in my pupil your blue pupil. What is poetry! And you ask me? You are poetry.

One of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer's most famous and memorable poems.

10. Rima XXIII

For a look, a world, a smile, a sky, a kiss ... I do not know what I gave you for a kiss.

Passion is one of the recurring themes of this artist.

11. Rima XXX

There was a tear in his eyes and ... my lip a phrase of forgiveness; proud spoke and wiped a weeping, and the phrase on my lip expired. I go on one path, she on the other; but when thinking of our mutual love, I still say: Why did I keep silent that day? And she will say: Why did not I cry? It is a matter of words, and yet, neither you nor I, after the past, will agree on who the fault is. It's a pity that love a dictionary has no where to find when pride is simply pride and when it is dignity!

About a love breakup.

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12. Rhyme XXXVIII

Sighs are air and go to the air. Tears are water and go to the sea. Tell me, woman, when love is forgotten, do you know where it goes?

About the veracity of past loves.

13. Rima L

What the savage who with a clumsy hand makes a trunk at his whim a god and then before his work kneels, that's what you and I did. We gave real forms to a ghost, from the ridiculous invention mind, and made the idol already, we sacrificed on our altar our love.

Another of the poems dedicated to heartbreak that this poet wrote throughout his life.

14. Rima LII

Giant waves that break you roaring on the deserted and remote beaches, wrapped between the sheet of foams, take me with you! Hurricane flurries that snatch from the high forest the withered leaves, dragged in the blind whirlwind, take me with you! Clouds of tempest that breaks the ray and in fire ornáis the detached borders, snatched in the dark fog, take me with you! Take me for mercy to where the vertigo with the reason I start the memory. For mercy! I'm afraid to stay with my pain alone!

About the vertigo that produces loneliness in certain circumstances.

15. Rima XVI

If when you wave the blue bells of your balcony, you think that sighing passes the murmuring wind, you know that hidden among the green leaves I sigh.

If, when confused at your back, vague rumors echo, you think that by your name you have called you a distant voice, you know that I am calling you from the shadows that surround you.

If your heart grows fearful in the high night, when you feel a searing breath on your lips, know that although invisible next to you I breathe.

About memories that may come to haunt us.


Gustavo Adolfo Bequer's poem (March 2021).


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