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A Gregorio Castañeda Aragón

I have not seen the ocean.
My eyes
—vigilant melting, fantastic glowworms;
my eyes which watch amid the night; owners
of the starry archway;
of the astral words;
my wandering eyes;
akin to the hideous insanity of the abyss;
my eyes steeled like Vikings, observing,
my vagabond eyes
have not seen the ocean...

The undulous lyric of its quivering contour
has not stirred my dreams,
I did not hear the erotic growl of its foghorns,
nor was my sight stunned by the sparkling quicksilver
that is tossed about on its back...
Its resonant waterspouts,
its silences, I could never heart:
Its Cyclopean rages, its complaints or its hymns,
nor its intrepid muteness when silvers and golds
of the suns and moons, like perpetual weepings
dilute its riches with glaucous sapphire!

Nor shall I inhale its perfume!

I know of the aromas
of beloved heads of hair...
I know of the perfumes of slender throats
and fragile and lukewarm,
of temples where the favorite perfume censers of Venus
hide their fragances,
I shall inhale the flasks
where Nirvana kindles the symbolic sandlewoods,
the common aloes and myrrhs of the wizard Zoroaster...
But I shall not inhale the salts nor the iodines of the ocean!

My parched lips
did not put out their thirst
in | its wine skins:
not in | its tart wine skins
did they mitigate my thirst...
My lips, insane, drunk, avid, vagabond,
pensive lips
made bitter by alases and wrathful gestures
and which other lips —virgin— captured in their net.

Brother of the clouds
am I
Brother of the clouds,
of the wandering clouds, of the deluded of space:
vagrant warships
pushed by keen puffs of wind anonymous and cold,
impelled by brutal impetus fickle and sombre!
Traveler of nights
am I.

Traveler of intoxicating nights, mariner
of its boundless seas,
of its boundless seas, delirious, empty,
—empty of infinity |.., empty...— Docile mariner
am I.
And my dreams defeated warships...
Defeated warships, unknown courses, grottos
of pirates, the ocean...

My vagabond eyes
—unsatiated travelers— they know skys, worlds,
they know profund nights, unponderous and serene,
they know tragic nights,
delicius illusions, shameless dreams...
They know of unique sorrows,
of pleasures and of tears,
of myths and of science,
of hate and of mercy,
of pain,
and to love!...

My vagabond eyes
my sterile eyes
my eyes have not seen the ocean,
I have not seen the ocean.


León de Greiff
Translated by Edie Duennebier

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