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        THE WELL

My soul is like a well of deaf, deep water
on whose solemn, unrippled peace
days wheel, drowning their daily murmur
in the calm that curdles in barren hollows.

Below, the water lays its agony brightness,
a feeble iridescence fermenting in darkness,
lymphs that clot into long black slime
and exude this bloodless blue phosphorescence.

My soul is like a well. The sleepy water landscape
trembling composes itself and disperses,
while below, fathoms, perhaps a thousand years back
dreams a crouched, misanthropic frog.

At times under the moon’s long influence,
the well displays the misty magic of a fable:
a frog’s deep croaking echoes in its water,
and it brims with a faint sense of eternity.

Luis Palés Matos
English Translation: Julio Marzán

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Otros poemas - 1920-1934
español Original version