The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Greensboro Science Center

The Old Lizard
By Federico García Lorca
Translated by Lysander Kemp

In the parched path
I have seen the good lizard
(one drop of crocodile)
With his green frock-coat
of an abbot of the devil,
his correct bearing
and his stiff collar,
he has the sad air
of an old professor.
Those faded eyes
of a broken artist,
how they watch the afternoon
in dismay!

Is this, my friend,
your twilight constitutional?
Please use your cane,
you are very old, Mr. Lizard,
and the children of the village
may startle you.
What are you seeking in the path,
my near-sighted philosopher,
if the wavering phantasm
of the parched afternoon
has broken the horizon?

Are you seeking the blue alms
of the moribund heaven?
A penny of a star?
Or perhaps
you've been reading a volume
of Lamartine, and you relish
the plateresque trills
of the birds?

(You watch the setting sun,
and your eyes shine,
oh, dragon of the frogs,
with a human radiance.
Ideas, gondolas without oars,
cross the shadowy
waters of your
burnt-out eyes.)

Have you come looking
for that lovely lady lizard,
green as the wheatfields
of May,
as the long locks
of sleeping pools,
who scorned you, and then
left you in your field?
Oh, sweet idyll, broken
among the sweet sedges!
But, live! What the devil!
I like you.
The motto "I oppose
the serpent" triumphs
in that grand double chin
of a Christian archbishop.

Now the sun has dissolved
in the cup of the mountains,
and the flocks
cloud the roadway.
It is the hour to depart:
leave the dry path
and your meditations.
You will have time
to look at the stars
when the worms are eating you
at their leisure.

Go home to your house
by the village, of the crickets!
Good night, my friend
Mr. Lizard!

Now the field is empty,
the mountains dim,
the roadway deserted.
Only, now and again,
a cuckoo sings in the darkness
of the poplar trees.


The cold I've been fighting since Friday decided to make me miserable on Tuesday, for which I will forgive it since it wasn't too bad over the weekend when I needed my energy, but I was draggy all day and my throat hurts (usually my colds work in the opposite direction, starting in my throat and moving into my sinuses). I had to do a bit of household shopping, and I managed to find my picture frames -- plus we even have fresh bagels -- but other than folding laundry I got nothing else done in the afternoon.

I did manage a Mewtwo raid at the mall right before dinner. We caught up for tomorrow night's Burden of Truth after we ate, then watched the Cubs-Rockies game which did not get really exciting until the 8th inning then got so good that we didn't switch over to The Daily Show. Here are some photos from the aquarium and zoo at the Greensboro Science Center, including wallabies, barn owls, a bearded dragon, a meerkat, a moray eel, a giant anteater, gibbons, and a diamondback terrapin:


2018-09-30 11.38.24







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