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        A PRISON (1936)

That man had no history of his own;
Like every other man, though, History
He did have. And it pained him to recall...

A certain crisis. Once, serene, he spoke.
I conjure up my prison, not "my prisons."
The time I spent in jail was very brief.
Jail—in those hours of mortal peril we were
Surrounded by a horde of fratricides.

"Today will my fate be the common one?
Without process of law, will I be shot In the name of the Eternal—here so warlike—

And of its own soldiers, its votaries?"
My only recourse was to trust my star.
—And not God?—No, He walked beside assassins,

According to the assassins and their cohorts.


Jorge Guillén
Translated by Reginald Gibbons

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