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LONG NIGHT OF STONE by Celso Emilio Ferreiro

 

 

LONG NIGHT OF STONE

 

 

In the middle of the road there was a stone

there was a stone in the middle of the road

there was a stone

in the middle of the road there was a stone.

 

Carlos Drummond de Andrade

 

 

The roof is stone.

The walls are stone

and the night.

The ground is stone

and the railings.

The doors,

the chains,

the air,

the windows,

the looks,

are stone.

The hearts of men looking outwards

are

also

made of stone.

I too, dying

in this long night

of stone.

 

 

 

THE KINGDOM

 

 

Then,

when animals could talk,

to say freedom was not sad,

to say truth was like a river,

to say love,

to say friend,

was the same as referring to spring.

No one knew of insults.

When animals could talk,

men would sing in the evenings

of doves of light and goldfinches of dream.

To say yours and mine was not comprehensible,

to say sword was prohibited,

to say prison was only a word

without meaning, a breath which missed

the heart of the people.

 

When,

when was it lost,

that great Kingdom?

 

 

 

FREELY

 

 

We wanted freely

to eat our daily bread. Freely

to bite it, chew it, fearlessly digest it,

freely talking, singing on the banks

of rivers freely running down to the sea.

Freely, freely

we wanted only

to be freely men, to be stars,

to be sparks from the great fireplace of the world,

to be ants, birds, boys,

in the Noah’s ark on which we row.

We wanted freely to smile,

to speak of it to God in the passing wind

– in the long wind of the woods and plains –

without fear, without blackness, without chains,

without sin, freely, freely,

like the air of the morning and spray.

Like the wind.

But this our difficult love was broken

– the glass of a fragile dream –

on a reef of screams

and now we are no more than shadows.

 

Translated from Galician by Jack Hill

 

Read some poems by Rosalía de Castro

Read some poems by Pilar Pallarés

Read some poems by Lois Pereiro

Read the introduction to From Unknown to Unknown by Manuel Rivas

Read two texts by Álvaro Cunqueiro

 

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LONG NIGHT OF STONE by Celso Emilio Ferreiro is available for purchase through PayPal at a cost of 16 euros including worldwide postage

ISBN 9789543840113

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