por mi mal halladas

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"¡Oh dulces prendas, por mi mal halladas,/dulces y alegres cuando Dios quería!"

I would translate the beginning as "Oh sweet tokens, found to my misfortune ..." or, perhaps, "Sweet tokens, found to my despite ..." (If I were trying to imitate 16th century English poetry).

The usual way of explaining por/para is as reflecting cause/goal (or looking backward/forward). However, that distinction doesn't seem helpful in this case. I do not mean to suggest that I would prefer "para" here. In fact, in this case, "por" sounds quite good to me and "para" doesn't (Besides, who am I to question Garcilaso's word choice').

Superficially, it seem to resemble "Lo hago por tu bien/mal." which explain motivation for an action but, in this case, we are talking about a result and, at that, one which was not of a purposeful action but, rather, just the way things turned out.

So my question is "Why 'por''" and, if not "por", what else'

3904 views
updated NOV 15, 2008
posted by samdie

2 Answers

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Heidita said:

por mi mal halladas: passive is expressed by "por" (by) in Spanish dulces prendas (son) mal halladas por mí.
¡Nunca se me ocuriió tal interpretación! Pero explica no solo la construción sino también la prescencia de las comas. ¡Aplausos y un abrazo bien fuerte!

updated NOV 15, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

por mi mal halladas: passive is expressed by "por" (by) in Spanish

dulces prendas (son) mal halladas por mí.

updated NOV 15, 2008
posted by 00494d19