Luis de Góngora y Argote (Córdoba, 1561 – 1627) was one of the most outstanding Spanish playwrights and writers of the so-called Golden Age). His poetry and prose marked a style, perhaps the most representative of the golden age of Spanish literature.

Famous phrases of Luis de Góngora

In this article we will review some of the most famous verses, thoughts and phrases of Góngora . This collection includes extracts from his most famous works, such as Solitudes (1613) or Fable of Polyphemus and Galatea (1612).

1. That the most serious doctor is the one who knows the most aphorisms, he may well be; but that the one who has died the most cannot be the most expert.

An ironic phrase that can have different readings.

2. What an impertinent enclosure and what a mistake, to make the bars of your prison out of other people’s mistakes!

A metaphorical sentence by Góngora that invites to reflection.

3. This mending of customs is dangerous and violent.

A sign of their conservatism.

4. Let a rich miser gather the doubloons one hundred to one hundred, it may well be; but let not the gentle successor spend them one thousand to one thousand, it cannot be.

On the financial mismanagement of the heirs of great fortunes.

4. Even wisdom sells the university.

A scathing criticism of educational institutions, although it is hard to guess what exactly it refers to.

5. He sends love in his weariness that he sits down and does not say it; but I am happier that he says it and does not sit down.

One of those romantic sentences taken from Góngora’s poetic work.

6. Naked the young man, how much already the dress ocean has drunk to restore him to the sands.

Another excerpt from his poetry.

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7. Give me now, O holy sea, an answer to my demands, for you can, if it is true that the waters have tongues.

Góngora demonstrates his mastery of the maritime metaphor in this verse.

8. Mourning the absence of the treacherous gallant, the moon finds her and leaves her, always adding passion to passion, memory to memory, pain to pain.

About heartbreak and suffering.

9. So light is the roe deer, that it is no less annoying to follow it with the eyes than it is to reach it with the feet; and so I find that, if you consent to it, it has done more than you do in a small way, the arrow in a large way. But let your arm be glad, O camilla, for from this day forward, though impossible, you may say that you have wounded the wind.

One of his best known and most studied poems in the faculties of philology.

10. Let your eyes be clear, and give no more pearls, for the sun is evil as the dawn is good.

His love verses are still being studied.

11. I no longer sing, Mother, and if I sing, my songs are very sadly endorsed; for he who went away, with what he took, left the silence, and took the voice.

When loneliness appears, the inner silence can be deafening.

12. You are jealous, the child, you are jealous of that blessed one, for you seek him, blind man, for he does not see you.

Another verse about unrequited love.

13. Live happily,” he said, “never prolixly; and if prolixely, in loving knots always live, husband and wife.

About the hopeful future of a love in the making.

14. I am the one who is interested, so I can say that it does not bother me that they are favoured.

Extracted from one of his quintessential plays.

15. Admiration dumbens down, he speaks in silence, and, blindly, a river follows, which – shining from those mountains, son – with a twisted speech, although neatly tyrannizing the fields usefully.

A thoughtful reflection on admiration.