When the last shadow comes to douse the white
radiance of day, it well may close my eyes;
it may unbind my soul, so that it flies
free, toward its eager wish, full of delight;
but soul will not abandon in its flight
memory, where it burned: my flame is wise,
knows how to swim the icy stream, and rise
to disobey the law more stern than right.
My soul, for whom the cell god’s will has been;
veins that have, for so long, nurtured such fire;
my very core, gloriously lit within,
will let the body go, but not desire;
will be ashes, but sentient as when skin;
will be dust, but dust in love upon the pyre.
Francisco de Quevedo: Amor constante más allá de la muerte
Cerrar podrá mis ojos la postrera
sombra que me llevare el blanco día,
y podrá desatar esta alma mía
hora a su afán ansioso lisonjera;
mas no, de esotra parte, en la ribera,
dejará la memoria, en donde ardía:
nadar sabe mi llama la agua fría,
y perder el respeto a ley severa.
Alma a quien todo un dios prisión ha sido,
venas que humor a tanto fuego han dado,
médulas que han gloriosamente ardido:
su cuerpo dejará, no su cuidado;
serán ceniza, mas tendrá sentido;
polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado.
Her most recent publications are two poetry collections in English titled Playing at Stillness and Her Place in These Designs, as well as a book of Spanish translations titled Oscura fruta/Dark Berries: Forty-two Poems by Richard Wilbur, and a book of Spanish translations titled Algo hay que no es amigo de los muros/Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall: Forty Poems by Robert Frost, both available from Amazon.com.
Espaillat is a founding member of two thriving poetry groups that run workshops and sponsor poetry readings: the Fresh Meadows Poets in Queens, NY, where she lived with her late husband, the sculptor Alfred Moskowitz, for many years, and the Powow River Poets in Newburyport, MA., where she has lived since 1990.
Also by Rhina Espaillat (see all)
- How Like a Winter… - March 4, 2018
- José de Diego: Into the Breach - March 4, 2018
- Francisco de Quevedo: Love That Endures Beyond Death - March 4, 2018