Luis Cernuda


                                                           from Spanish


                                  Once I was alive


                                        A pillar of fire, a moon in spring,

                                        A glistening ocean, wide eyed.


                                        I searched for my thoughts;

                                        I thought, as in a drowsy dream at dawn,

                                        What desire tells us in adolescence.


                                         I sang, I soared,

                                        One day I was light itself

                                         Pulled into flame,


                                         Like a gust of wind

                                         Dispersing shadow

                                         I fell into darkness

                                         Into the hungry world.


                                          I've already had my life.

                         "Yo Fui"from Donde Habite El Olvido in La Realidad Y El Deseo (1964), 

                                                                    published by Joe Bruchac The Greenfield Review (Winter/Spring, 1983)   




                                                                                    after Luis Cernuda


Where to begin

in time

with shadow

waiting for beginning?


You are so young

in your hazy question

with unsolved lightning

in your hand.


Resolve to live the question,

turn away gray fire;


with dark beginning,

always new.

                                                                                                                                New Year's Day, 1983