top of page

5 Short Beginner Spanish Poems That You’ll Love

I remember being lost, not knowing what to learn, or where to learn it from. I tried Duolingo, Drops, etc. I listened to music. I even journal daily in Spanish using Google Translate.


All of these methods helped me to different extents. However, they didn’t teach me the rich and precise adjectives, and the specific nouns I wouldn’t have thought to learn.


Spanish poetry enriched my vocabulary, my appreciation for the language, but more than this, it enriched my perspective and gave me peace in the moments that I consumed it.


I never have been a poetry type-of-guy, but learning Spanish made me this way. Although I could go on trying to explain why Spanish poetry changed my life, I’d rather just let you see for yourself.


In this article I’ll show you 5 of the most beautiful Spanish poems for Spanish learners.


They will be about love, loss, and life. Are you ready to immerse yourself into a different language? Let’s start acquiring the language. Empecemos. (Let’s start)


a cabin in the darkness with a quote that says "“Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.” —Mahmoud Darwish"


The Best Poems For Spanish Learners

Spanish poetry is a vibrant and diverse art form with a rich history. From the medieval troubadours to the modernists and contemporary poets, it encompasses a wide range of styles, themes, and poetic movements.


Spanish poetry explores love, nature, identity, and social issues, captivating readers with its evocative imagery and lyrical beauty.


Check out the video below if you want to listen along while you read the translations.


 


#1 - Poema 20 (Poem 20): By Paul Neruda (1924)


Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

I can write the saddest verses tonight.


Escribir, por ejemplo: "La noche está estrellada,

y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos."

Write, for example: “The night is filled with stars, twinkling, blues, the planets, in the distance”


El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

The night wind turns in the sky and sings


Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

I can write the saddest verses tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.


En las noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos.

La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

In the nights like this, I had her between my arms, I kissed her so many times beneath the infinite sky.


Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.

Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

She loved me, and sometimes I loved her too. How could I not have loved her great still eyes.


Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

I can write the saddest verses tonight. Think that I don’t have her. Feel that I lost her.


Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.

Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the verse falls onto my soul like the dew to the grass.


Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.

La noche esta estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

What difference does it make that my love could not keep her. The night is full of stars, and she is not with me.


Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.

Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

That is all. In the distance somebody sings. In the distance. My soul is not at peace with having lost her.


Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.

Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

As if to bring her closer my gaze searches for her. My heart searches for her, and she isn’t with me.


La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.

Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

The same night that whitens the same trees. (The) We, of then, are no longer the same.


Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.

Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

I don’t love her anymore, it’s certain, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.


De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.

Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Another. She will be another's. Like before my kisses. Her voice, her clear body. Her infinite eyes.


Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.

Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

I don’t love her anymore, it’s certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, and forgetting takes so long.


Porque en noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos,

mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Because in the nights like this I had her between my arms, my soul is not at peace with having lost her.


Aunque este sea el último dolor que ella me causa,

y estos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

Although this will be the last pain she causes me, and these will be the last verses that I write for her.


sad man crying


 

#2 - Soneto 22 (Sonnet 22): By Paul Neruda (1924)


Cuántas veces, amor, te amé sin verte y tal vez

sin recuerdo, sin reconocer tu mirada,

How many times, love, I loved you without seeing you and perhaps without remembering,

without remembering your look,


sin mirarte, centaura, en regiones contrarias, en un mediodía quemante:

eras sólo el aroma de los cereales que amo.

Without looking at you, centaur, in opposite regions, in a burning midday: you were just the aroma of the cereals that I love.


Tal vez te ví, te supuse al pasar levantando una copa en Angola,

a la luz de la luna de Junio,

Perhaps I saw you, I supposed as I passed by raising a glass in Angola, to the light of the June moon.


o eras tú la cintura de aquella guitarra que toqué en las tinieblas

y sonó como el mar desmedido.

Or you were the waist of the guitar that I played in the darkness and it sounded like the excessive sea.


Te amé sin que yo lo supiera, y busqué tu memoria.

En las casas vacías entré con linterna a robar tu retrato.

I loved you without knowing it, and I searched for your memory. In the empty houses, I entered with a flashlight to steal your portrait.


Pero yo ya sabía cómo era. De pronto mientras ibas conmigo te toqué y

se detuvo mi vida: frente a mis ojos estabas, reinándome, y reinas.

But I already knew how it was. Suddenly when you were with me I touched you and my life stopped: Infront of my eyes you were, reigning over me, and you reign.


Como hoguera en los bosques el fuego es tu reino.

Like a bonfire in the woods fire is your kingdom.



 


#3 - Me basta así (That's Enough For Me): By Angel Gonzalez (1965)

Si yo fuese Dios, y tuviese el secreto,

haría un ser exacto a ti;

If I was God, and I had the secret, I would make a being just like you;


lo probaría (a la manera de los panaderos

cuando prueban el pan, es decir: con la boca),

I would taste it (the way that the bakers taste the bread, that is to say, with the mouth)


y si ese sabor fuese igual al tuyo, o sea

tu mismo olor, y tu manera de sonreír, y de guardar silencio,

And if that flavor was the same as yours, or was your same scent, your way of smiling, and holding on to silence.


y de estrechar mi mano estrictamente,

y de besarnos sin hacernos daño

and to grab my hand tightly, and kiss without doing us harm


de esto sí estoy seguro: pongo

tanta atención cuando te beso;

Of this I am sure, I pay so much attention when I kiss you


entonces, si yo fuese Dios,

podría repetirte y repetirte,

So, if I was God, I could repeat you and repeat you,


siempre la misma y siempre diferente,

sin cansarme jamás del juego idéntico,

Always the same and always different,

without becoming tired of the same game


sin desdeñar tampoco la que fuiste

por la que ibas a ser dentro de nada;

without denying neither what you were, nor what you were going to be in no time.


ya no sé si me explico, pero quiero

aclarar que si yo fuese Dios,

I don’t know if I’m explaining myself anymore, but I want to clarify

that if I was god,


haría lo posible por ser Ángel González

para quererte tal como te quiero,

I would do everything possible to be Ángel González

to love you exactly how I love you


para aguardar con calma

a que te crees tú misma cada día

To wait calmly, that you believe yourself every day


a que sorprendas todas las mañanas

la luz recién nacida con tu propia luz,

That you are surprised every morning the light is just being born with your own light


y corras la cortina impalpable que separa

el sueño de la vida,

and you draw the impalpable curtain that separates

the dream of life,


resucitándome con tu palabra,

Lázaro alegre,

resurrecting me with your word,

happy lazarus,


yo, mojado todavía

de sombras y pereza,

me still wet of shadows and laziness,


sorprendido y absorto en la contemplación de todo aquello

que, en unión de mí mismo,

surprised and absorbed in the contemplation of all that

that, together with myself,


recuperas y salvas, mueves, dejas

abandonado cuando —luego— callas…

you retrieve and save, move, leave

abandoned when —then— you stay silent...


Escucho tu silencio.

Oigo constelaciones: existes. Creo en ti. Eres. Me basta.

I hear your silence.

I hear constellations. You exist. I believe in you. You are. Enough for me.


a happy couple hugging each other

 

Poem #4 Bien tomados de la mano (Holding Hands Firmly): by Douglas Wright


Qué lindo que es caminar, bien tomados de la mano, por el barrio, por la plaza, ¿qué sé yo?, por todos lados.

How nice it is to walk, holding hands, through the neighborhood, through the plaza, what do I know? Everywhere.


Qué lindo es mirar los árboles, bien tomados de la mano, desde el banco de la plaza,

en el que estamos sentados.

How nice it is to watch the trees, holding each other’s hands well, from the bench in the square in which we are sitting.


Qué lindo es mirar el cielo bien tomados de la mano; en nuestros ojos, volando,

dos pájaros reflejados.

How nice it is to watch the sky, holding each other’s hands well; in our eyes, flying, two birds reflected.


Qué lindo que es caminar bien tomados de la mano; ¡qué lindo, andar por la vida de la mano bien tomados!

How nice it is to walk holding each other’s hands well; How nice, to walk through life holding each other’s hands firmly.



two people holding hands

 

Poem #5 - Cultivo una rosa blanca (I Cultivate a White Rose): by José Martí


Cultivo una rosa blanca en junio como enero para el amigo sincero

que me da su mano franca.

I cultivate a white rose in June and January for the true friend

who gives me his sincere hand.


Y para el cruel que me arranca el corazón con que vivo, cardo ni ortiga cultivo;

cultivo la rosa blanca.

And for the cruel one who rips out the heart with which I live, I don’t cultivate the thistle or the nettle; I cultivate the white rose.



white roses

 


How To Use Spanish Poetry To Learn Spanish

There’s a few wonderful techniques that we can take advantage of to learn from Spanish poetry. For example, we can use flash cards to memorize the vocabulary, then we can read the poem until we have it memorized.


This will solidify those words into our long-term memory through a meaningful context. In this section, we’ll go over what I have found works best for squeezing all of the potential out of Spanish poetry when learning Spanish.



Study Unknown Words In Flashcards, Then Memorize Poem

The first thing I began to do when I found some of these rich poems, such as Poema 20 by Paul Neruda, is that I began to memorize the words through flash cards. Afterwards, it made memorizing the entire poem easy, because I understood it.


Once I memorized it, I was able to recite it to myself while I worked the night away. This not only made for a short shift, but also a greater appreciation for the poetry, the word play, and the language in general.



Listen To Poetry As You Go To Sleep

You can find videos for every poem listed here on YouTube. These videos usually have slow, whimsical music playing in the background that adds even more depth to the already rich and emotion-packed poems.


These poems are read slowly, and in a well-pronounced manner, making them perfect to listen to as you go to sleep. If you’re asking yourself “Why would I listen to Spanish poems as I go to sleep?” that’s a great question.


We know that our sleep hours are when our brain sifts through the information and memories of that day, and our brain files what’s worth memorizing, and what’s not.


So this is a wonderful time to get these words fresh in your brain. Quickly your brain will recognize these words as often-occuring, and therefore, worth memorizing.



Write The Poem By Hand In Your Language Journal

If you guys know me, then you know that I love writing to learn languages. I use a daily journal, I have a notebook for Spanish and French words & phrases that I come across and don’t know.


I believe (from experience) that writing is like training wheels for speaking; meaning that you must get good at writing before you can get good at speaking.


When you copy down these poems, your brain will be processing the words slower, and in a more complete manner. You’ll remember more, and you’ll be more likely to be able to produce these words in speech.



Why Learning With Beginner Spanish Poems Is Beneficial

There are many benefits to learning beginner Spanish with poems. When we read creative literature in our target language it helps to remind us of the beauty in that language. Personally, I didn’t even love the Spanish language when I began learning it, I just wanted to challenge myself.


However, with the passing of time, and the understanding of Spanish speaking cultures, I began to fall in love with the language. Let’s look into some of the ways that learning through Spanish poetry will help you.



It Grabs Our Attention, And Connects Us To Spanish Through Emotions

One tiny secret that I use when learning a language: Use emotions to make connections. Maybe nobody has ever told you this, but remembering words that cause emotions is much easier than any others.


This is because our brain wants to remember things that it deems important or relevant to our future. Anything that causes us to feel emotions, will indeed be looked at as “more relevant” than a word which means very little to us, like the word for pencil or thumbtack.



We Begin To Appreciate The Language More

As we consume literature in our target language, we will begin to appreciate and understand it better. Have you ever heard a language that you find sounds ugly? I guarantee that if you were to learn that language, and read their poets, listen to their music, and talk to the great people that belong to the culture - you’d fall in love with the language.


So for Spanish, even if you only like it a little bit, your level of appreciation will grow when you study Spanish poetry and other literature.



We Learn More Descriptive Adjectives And Nouns

I still say words every once and a while that I remember learning through poems. For example the word “Arrugas” (wrinkles) and “Pozo” (a well).


Such words just didn’t appear in my every-day study materials. Through reading Spanish poetry, we will learn more descriptive adjectives and nouns that will make us more precise in our speech.



Before You Go - Hear Me Out!

If you enjoyed one (or more) of these beginner Spanish poems, copy them down by hand on a piece of paper to help you acquire the vocabulary. Personally, I usually do this in my Language-Journal so that I can always come back to the content that inspired me.


And hey, if you would like a cheap (and experienced) tutor to help you with your Spanish, click here and Italki will give you $10 towards your sessions if you schedule your first lesson within 48 hours!


Thanks for stopping by Acquire The Language,


¡hasta luego!

- Ben


Commentaires

Noté 0 étoile sur 5.
Pas encore de note

Ajouter une note
bottom of page