Tag Archives: Poetry

A Monument to Three Faiths on the Via de la Plata


Poetry on the Vía de la Plata, just before Zamorra.

Just before Zamora on the Vía de la Plata, there’s a circle made up of three modern monoliths, with a well at their centre.

When I walked past this tableau, I took some photographs but didn’t have the dictionary I needed to puzzle through their inscriptions. Recently, I came across my photos and decided to see what I could find out about the stones. A bit of Internet research proved helpful.

A closer look at the Via de la Dalmacia poem.

It turns out the stones were erected in summer 2009 by two Spanish organizations to mark the intersection of three paths: the Vía de la Plata, the Vía Mirandesa, and the Vía de la Dalmacia. The monument is dedicated to peace and understanding between Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Each of the three four-metre granite monoliths has a poem dedicated to one of the routes. In the centre is the Brocal de las Promesas, or Well of Promises, into which pilgrims, from what I understand, are meant to drop a stone as a symbol of the promise referred to in one of the poems.

I’ve copied out the poems below. Since I can’t find an English translation of the poems on the Internet, I’ve attempted to do it myself. My Spanish is far from perfect, but this way those who don’t speak Spanish can at least get the gist of the meaning.

I really would welcome any suggestions—small or large—on the translations (especially the end of the first one, which I’m quite sure I’ve muddled).

(For more on the three faiths in Spain, see my posts about the Muslims in Spain.)

Vía de la Plata: Encuentro de Culturas en la Paz

Deja aquí peregrino la promesa
que quieras hacer guía de tus pasos
y llama viva de tu alma.
Su espíritu moverá el corazón
de la tierra y algún día
florencerá en las espigas
del pan de los hambrientos,
susurrara en todas las fuentes,
correrá como ríos,
saciando la sed de justicia,
volará a las nubes y sera
rayo de sol para los tristes.
Porque la verdad de las promesas
es siembra amorosa, destellos
del ser, que espera y necesita
el mundo nuevo, solidario y en paz.
Deja aquí peregrino la promesa
y sea cual sea tu andadura
habrás hecho camino antes de llegar.
– A. Ramos de Castro

Vía de la Plata: Peaceful Meeting Between Cultures

Leave here, pilgrim, the promise
that you want to guide your steps
and the living flame of your soul.
Its spirit moves the heart
of the earth, and one day
will flower in the wheat
of the bread of the hungry,
will whisper in all the fountains,
will run like rivers,
quenching the thirst for justice,
will fly to the clouds, and be
a ray of light for the sad.
Because the truth of the promises
is that love is sown, in flashes
of being, that it waits and needs
the new world, in solidarity and in peace.
Leave here, pilgrim, the promise,
and may your walking be that which your journey
has made a camino before you arrive.

Vía de la Dalmacia: Calzada y Camino de San Francisco al Islam

En este cruce de la senda que ahora andas
antiquísimo camino del alba de la historia
confluyen las calzadas:
Vía de la Plata, La Mirandesa y La Dalmacia.
Es entrada de creencias, culturas y comercio
vía de conquistas, reconquista y repoblación.
Camino Mozárabe que hizo a Santiago.
Paso de San Francisco al encuentro del Islam.
Salida de Judíos que echaba el desamor
y siempre encuentro de pueblos, ideas y de fe.
Añade caminante en tu andadura
la tolerancia y el valor al diferente,
que necesitamos, como parte del mismo amor
que todos somos, para juntos hacer
un mundo humano,
y el encuentro de creencias y culturas,
el camino florecido de la paz.

Vía de la Dalmacia: Road and Way of San Francisco al Islam

In this crossroads that you now walk,
ancient way of dawn of the history,
the roads join:
Vía de la Plata, the Mirandesa and the Dalmacia.
They are an entrance to beliefs, cultures and commerce,
route of conquests, reconquest and repopulation.
The Mozarab road that goes to Santiago.
The San Francisco path that encounters Islam.
The doorway of the Jews who left with heartbreak
and always found towns, ideas and faith.
Add, walker, to your walking,
the tolerance and the value of difference,
which we need as part of the same love
that we are, to together create
a humane world,
and add too the meeting of beliefs and cultures.
The road blossoms with peace.

Vía Mirandesa: Camino de la Amistad y Camino Judio a la Libertad

Que los caminos traigan paz
y los amanceres justicia
que hermane a todos los pueblos,
que socorra a todos los humanos
y quebrante al violento.
Que dure tanto como el sol,
como la luna, de edad en edad.
Que el amor de tus pasos,
como riego sobre el césped
como llovizna que empapa la tierra
haga florecer la vida, abrace
fraterno a todas las creencias,
y sea bálsamo para el necesitado.
Que tu corazón lo pregone,
de mar a mar, mas allá
de la senda que ahora andas,
hasta el fulgor de las estrellas.

Vía Mirandesa: Road of Friendship and Jewish Road of Freedom

May the roads bring peace
and the dawns, justice,
that brings together all cities as brothers,
that helps all humans,
that ends the violence.
May this last as long as the sun,
and as the moon, from age to age.
May the love in your steps,
as water on grass,
as drizzle that soaks the ground,
make life flower, embracing
as brothers all beliefs,
and may it be a balm for the needy.
May your heart cry it out
from sea to see, and farther still,
from the path that you walk now,
to the brilliance of the stars.


Posted by Anna-Marie Krahn at 3:23 pm
, , ,
Comments Off on A Monument to Three Faiths on the Via de la Plata

Merry Christmas!


[Why Walk the Camino de Santiago]

Download this in PDF format below. Merry Christmas!

Wow. Almost three months into the life of this website, I’ve met so many wonderful people (and will be interviewing more of them in coming months—stay tuned), reconnected with others, and had a great time writing about my Camino thoughts and experiences.

I started Pilgrim Roads without completely knowing why—I just needed an incentive to write, and the Camino was what I wanted to write about.

Right now I’m working on clarifying my goals for this blog and my pilgrimages (I think I’ll be able to go walking in 2011!). I’m going to be asking for help on the blog part of that in the new year, and would love to hear from all of you about what you’d like to see on this site.

In the meantime, I have a Christmas present for you.

I had such a good response to my Why Walk the Camino de Santiago post, that I made it into a pretty printable PDF file. You can download it in North American letter size or the A4 version. Please feel free to share it.

(I don’t know if this is an issue for anyone else, but when I look at the A4 version online, it looks awful, but if I download it, it looks fine. So as far as I can tell, it should print nicely if you download it. Please tell me if it doesn’t.)

And so, as the Irish blessing says, may the road rise up to meet you all.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you have the merriest of Christmases.


Posted by Anna-Marie Krahn at 12:18 am
, ,
2 Comments

Ithaka: A Wonderful Poem for a Journey


I first came across the poem “Ithaka” by C. P. Cavafy when I read my first book about the Camino, Elyn Aviva’s Following the Milky Way: A Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.

Years later, when I set out on the Camino de Santiago, I carried a small notebook in which I’d written out inspirational quotes and poems, including “Ithaka.”

I walked alone a fair bit on the Le Puy route. One of the things I did to keep myself interested was memorize some of the quotes and poems I’d brought. “Ithaka” was the first I memorized. (Alas, I don’t remember all of it any more.)

I was recently reminded of this poem on the Camino de Santiago Forum, in a post by Timid that linked to the video below. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do.


Posted by Anna-Marie Krahn at 9:05 pm

3 Comments