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    SOUND OF THE CUBAN NEGROES

When the moon has risen full I’m off to Santiago, Cuba,
off to Santiago
in a wagon of black water.
Off to Santiago.
Singing palms above the roof-tops.
Off to Santiago.
When the palm-tree wants to be stork,
off to Santiago.
And the banana-tree jellyfish,
I’m off to Santiago.
Off to Santiago
with the blond head of Fonseca.
Off to Santiago.
With the rose, Juliet’s and Romeo’s,
off to Santiago.
Sea of paper, coins of silver,
off to Santiago.
Oh, Cuba! Oh, rhythm of dried seeds!
Off to Santiago.
Oh, waist of fire, drop of wood!
Off to Santiago.
Harp of living tree-trunks. Caiman. Flower of tobacco.
Off to Santiago.
I always said I’d be off, off to Santiago,
in a wagon of black water.
Off to Santiago.
Air and alcohol on the wheels,
I’m going to Santiago.
My coral in the twilight,
off to Santiago.
The ocean drowned in the sand,
off to Santiago.
Heat whitening, fruit rotting,
off to Santiago.
Oh, the sugar-cane’s dumb coolness!
Oh, Cuba, curve of sigh and clay!
I’m off to Santiago.

autógrafo

Federico García Lorca, 1929-1930
Translation by A. S. Kline


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