The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Sunday


Seawall
By Julia de Burgos
Translated by Jack Agüeros


I'm going to make a seawall
with my small happiness...
I don't want the sea to know
that pains go through my breast.

I don't want the sea to touch
the shore of my earth...
I have run out of dreams,
crazy from shadows in the sand.

I don't want the sea to look
at blue mourning in my path...
(My eyelids were auroras
when the storm crossed!)

I don't want the sea to cry
a new rainstorm at my door...
All the eyes of the wind
already cry me as dead.

I'm going to make a seawall
with my small happiness,
light happiness of knowing myself,
mind the hand that closes.

I don't want the sea to arrive
at the thirst of my poem,
blind in the middle of light,
broken in the middle of an absence.

--------

From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in today's Washington Post Book World. "Julia de Burgos (1914-1953) is for me the bedrock of Puerto Rican poetry," he writes. "I am eager to recommend the highly lyrical, turbulent, commemorative, socially conscious poems of this key Spanish-language poet...a proto-feminist...a Puerto Rican independentista and a devoted internationalist." Though she was afflicted by the poverty and social problems of the island, "the spirit of freedom and independence flashes through de Burgos's work."

Yesterday evening we had dinner at the home of one of my mother's oldest friends, whom I have known since birth. One of the other families who routinely joins us there have senior members whom my parents have known since their teens, a son my age, a daughter two years younger, and another son three years younger than she is, plus three grandsons. This is often the only time I see the eldest son all year, even though he lives in the area and I could; he's a high-power attorney, not married, no kids, so in some ways our lives have very little in common. I have no excuse for not seeing the daughter who's practically my age, though, particularly since her husband is a Trekkie. At any rate I had marvelous kippered salmon and kugel and blintzes and conversation and am stuffed and happy.

It's my oldest son's birthday, and we are taking a group of his friends to the RenFaire, where I am hoping to meet up with a bunch of LJers whom I knew in Trek fandom from before any of us were LJers...and to see sparowe's knights! The weather is supposed to hold, at least as of the last report on Jeanne's movements. Hope everyone in Florida is okay! Below gacked from all over the place, making me howl...now there's a slash couple I never considered...

Your Boobies' Names Are: Bambi and Thumper

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