Five Poems

Five Poems

Cinco poemas

Luis Hernández

The Song

M. Balakireff

They say I am a dreamer
Who dreams

And others say of me

So long. I’m going to another place
And if sorrow
Catches up with me
And if sorrow catches up with me
I’ll bury myself in the depths
Of the sea. And I shall no more
And I shall no more.

Elegy Number Five

Yo solo cruzo su silencio
Abraham Valdelomar

Today you bestow on
On the sea
Of Sweet Water Beach
Its only story

It’s just that
Your spent body is

A time
A time of
Love.  So
Silent am I

That your memory
Grants me joy

And the faint trace
Of rust that ships
Trail in their wake
As they depart.  So
Silent am I
That were I

To sing
At the same time

From the clear
Slopes, at the same time
From the light

And flickering foam
Would spring forth

Twining tendrils
So silent am I

That your memory
Grants me joy

[My heart lies]

My heart lies
awash in an unknown
In an arcane
and you will feel sorrow
for me

Only emotion

Not so poetry

To Friedrich Hölderlin

As distant from yourself
And as close
To that harsh sacred kingdom
Waiting for the sun
Next to an orange sky

So close

Waiting for the sun
Behind the wooden
Slats of a fence
Weeds on the ground

And you falter before it all
Before the sky
Before the two faces
Of the winged blind madman

Sweet as memory
Sweet as oblivion
Blue as memory
Blue as forgetting

And behold

Friedrich Hölderlin
Deep in the valley
Resplendent under the waters
And the infinite shimmering lights
Blind like a star

To a Suicide in a Swimming Pool

Die no more
Listen to a symphony for marching band
You will love yourself once more when you hear
Ten trombones
With their indigo clarity
In the night
Do not die
Weave into its indigo clarity
Do not die
In the name of what God loves best
Emerge from the waters
Towel off
Look into the mirror
Where you were drowning
Stay on the third planet
Known only
For its gorgeous beings
Who emit sounds from their throats
That hinge between body
And dreams
And with the innocent devices
They raise to their lips
Or stroke with their hands
Purest art
Called Music
Die no more
With its indigo clarity

[Brian, 1971]

Luis HernándezCoverThese poems belong to The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández; translated and with a foreword by Anthony Geist. Swan Isle Press (2015)

Luis Hernández (1941–77) was a Peruvian poet who published three books during his short life.

Anthony Geist is professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Washington.

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