José de Diego: Into the Breach

O wretched man in pain who falls and cries,
whose limbs, exhausted, sicken and grow slack!
Leaf out anew—the bare tree’s verdant knack;
like buried seed, pulse to revitalize.

Resurge, shout, stride, take heart, fight for the prize,
rumble and flash; like thunder, boom and crack….
Be like the sea against the cliff: strike back!
And like the river when it rains: arise!

Before the raging tempest’s angry thrust,
do not bleat like the lamb, unhappy, frail,
but roar, as the wild beast does, when you must.

Up, struggle forward! And do not turn tail;
bellow as bulls, corralled, do from the dust!
Or like the silent bull, rush to assail!

 

José de Diego: En la brecha

¡Ah, desgraciado, si el dolor te abate,
si el cansancio tus miembros entumece!
Haz como el árbol seco: reverdece,
y como el germen enterrado: late.

Resurge, alienta, grita, anda, combate,
vibra, ondula, retruena, resplandece…
Haz como el río con la lluvia: ¡crece!
Y como el mar contra la roca: ¡bate!

De la tormenta al iracundo empuje,
no has de balar, como el cordero triste,
sino rugir, como la fiera ruge.

¡Levántate!, ¡revuélvete!, ¡resiste!
Haz como el toro acorralado: ¡muge!
O como el toro que no muge: ¡embiste!

Rhina Espaillat

Rhina Espaillat

Dominican-born Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays, and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and prize-winning translations from and into Spanish. Her work appears in numerous journals, websites, and anthologies, and has earned national and international awards.

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.
Rhina Espaillat

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Author: Rhina Espaillat

Dominican-born Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays, and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and prize-winning translations from and into Spanish. Her work appears in numerous journals, websites, and anthologies, and has earned national and international awards. 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.