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Here you have, through and through, the man
who loved, lived, died inwardly
and one fine day went out to the street: then
he understood: and he tore up all his poems.

That’s how it is, and was. He went out
one night frothing at the eyes, drunk
with love, fleeing, he knew not where:
to where the air did not stink of death.

Tents of peace, swaying pavilions,
were his arms, like a flame in the wind;
waves of blood flooding his breast, huge
waves of visible hate washing over all his body.

Here! Approach! But oh! Atrocious angels
cross the sky in horizontal flight;
horrible metallic fishes traverse
the sea’s spine, from port to port.

I bequeath all my poems for one
man at peace. Here, in flesh and blood, you have
my last will and testament. Bilbao, the eleventh
of April, nineteen and fifty-one.
                                              Blas de Otero


Blas de Otero, 1951
Translated by Patrick H. Sheerin

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audio Canción Adolfo Celdrán

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