Nire Aitaren Etxea (Gabriel Aresti)

Kaixo lagunak!
At 4pm yesterday (Friday, 4/14/17) there was the A Celebration of Poetry and Translation event at the International Area Studies Library (Main Library Building). Our fellow grad student at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Jone Vicente, who is teaching Basque Literature (BASQ 402) this semester, read Nire Aitaren Etxea, a very famous poem by Gabriel Aresti. She read it in Basque first and then an English translation by Toni Strubell (from Oxford, England, and a man, not a woman, an English teacher and a linguist). As I was listening to this wonderful poem I was enjoying Jone’s reading and thinking to myself “Ezkerrik asko, you just gave me the perfect topic to write about in my next blog entry!”.

The poem is very easy to find online. In this page

you have a line-to-line Basque and  Spanish version.

It’s a great poem, very emotional and sober at the same time, and what is best it seems manageable for beginners like us. For instance, the beginning

Nire aitaren etxea
defendituko dut.

is all familiar to us: nire etxea (“my house”), aita (“father”), aitaren (“of my father”) (similar to the construction uztailaren 4-an, i.e. the 4th of July, with the suffix –aren, question nore?, i.e. whose?), and defenditu dut (i.e. I have defended) (and –ko which I assume is for forming the future)


la casa de mi padre

The next for verses are interesting, very poetic and sooo manageable:

Otsoen kontra,
sikatearen kontra,
lukurreiaren kontra,
justiziaren kontra

Just kontra as a preposition (“against”) and each preceding noun with the suffix –aren (–en in plural), which I assume is the case required by kontra:

Contra los lobos,
contra la sequía,
contra la usura,
contra la justicia,

Wondeful verses.

As for Gabriel Aresti… Well, you have information in the internet starting with the Wikipedia:

Born 1933, died 1975; looks like pretty young. Basically from Bilbao. Couldn’t have lived through a less sympathetic period: Francoism from beginning to end, no years spared. Translated Federico García Lorca, T. S. Eliot, and Bocaccio among others into Basque. A pretty interesting figure then. Check it out!




About borges99

I'm a MA student at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). I'm majoring in Spanish Literature (Peninsular, 19th/20th century with a focus on history of ideas in Spain). I completed a PhD in Philosophy in 2013 (with a focus on Continental Philosophy and History of Philosophy). I'm from Barcelona (Spain) but I have lived in Champaign (Illinois) for the last 12 years. In my free time I like reading, reading, and reading.
This entry was posted in Class. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nire Aitaren Etxea (Gabriel Aresti)

  1. kerstin58 says:

    This sounds pretty interesting! I’ll have to check out some more of Gabriel Aresti’s poems!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s