‘Lamento de mujer — En la muerte de un poeta’

El mas de Reus. Foto que me envió Nuria.

[Translator’s note: The blog of Andrés Cifuentes, Eco Social… Ojo Crítico, led me to this tender sonnet by Francisco Álvarez Hidalgo. To my naive ear the cadence of iambic pentameter has an affinity with Señor Álvarez’s hendecasyllables. I apologize for “collywobbles.” It jolts the lyric’s earnestness, but I couldn’t let it go. I mull with interest whether what I read as an elegiac paean to close friendship, not romantic love, need be titled perforce a “woman’s” plaint.]

A Woman’s Lament
On the death of a poet

Tantas veces me hablaste de partida,
So many times you spoke to me of parting,
y en mi descuido no alcancé a entenderte;
and careless me, I didn’t understand you;
tus versos ignoraban a la muerte,
your verses showed no consciousness of death,
eran cantos de amor, gritos de vida.
songs of love they were, and shouts of life.

Pero al fondo eran sangre de la herida
But underneath they were blood of the wound
por donde el alma sus zozobras vierte;
from which the soul pours out its collywobbles;
eras el hombre alborozado y fuerte
you were the man of strength filled with elation
con su noche final reconocida.
who recognized the night of his finale.

Oh amigo, casi amante, sin contacto,
Oh friend, quasi lover, beyond contact,
has llegado al final del tercer acto
you’ve reached the very ending of act three
de tu drama, el telón ha descendido.
in your life’s play. The curtain has come down.

Apagadas las luces, persevero
The lights have all gone out, yet I remain
en mi sillón, pensando, compañero,
seated where I am, thinking, comrade,
que de nuevo saldrás, que no te has ido.
that you’ll appear again, that you’re not gone.

“Antología de Sonetos”
Francisco Álvarez Hidalgo

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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