The following is a prose translation of a sonnet by Francisco de Quevedo y Vilegas (1580-1643), who is considered to have been one of the greatest figures of Spanish literature. Such samples of his writing as I found in the book about him that I read were very difficult to decipher -- some were to me practically incomprehensible. So don't count on the accuracy of the following translation.


Francisco de Quevedo

There was a man attached to a nose.

It was a superlative nose.

It was a fierce-looking fellow and a scribe.

It was a well-bearded swordfish.

It was a badly-aimed sun-dial.

It was a pensive still.*

It was an elephant lying on its back.

It was Ovid provided with more nose.

It was the beak of a galley.

It was an Egyptian pyramid.

It was all the twelve tribes of noses.

It was an infinite super nose, a vast quantity of nose, a nose so frightful that on the face of Adam it would have been a crime.

*I.e., apparatus for distilling. No doubt an alembic is intended. -->

(Quevedo must have had an acromegalous uncle.)

* * * * *