Poems June 2023
Sweet longing (a translation)
by Alfredo Espino
Those times were like a story . . .
In the bright garden, blossoming St. Andrew’s Cross
filled the soft silence of my home with gold,
and clear stars shivered in the basin.
At that time I thought the world was a grand garden
of flowers and basins dotted with points of light.
I watched the mountains and believed they were enormous
backs, shouldering the domed sky.
Once, before the Virgin of Sorrows,
in the quiet half-light of my warm room,
I lit a candle . . . I wished for a miracle: coins
to appear suddenly in my little wooden chest.
And I was so upset
when I saw the pale Virgin’s eyes bitter and wet,
but I begged and begged her for forgiveness
when, later, mischievously, I killed a bird.
The charm went away . . . it went away . . . blurred.
It went away blurring that time that seemed like a story.
Life was no garden with flowers and basins,
and I didn’t ask the Virgin for any more miracles.
At fifteen, I remember when I read her name
it made me sick for days,
and I shed more than a few tears.
I nursed a sad desire to be like Ephraim.
These memories come through my open window.
Oh my hushed garden, murmurous with birds
and the humble window whose square framed
a piece of the sky, which I pretended
was a magnificent blue scrap of cloth.
—translated from the Spanish by Dylan Carpenter
A Message from the Editors
Support our crucial work and join us in strengthening the bonds of civilization.
Your donation sustains our efforts to inspire joyous rediscoveries.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 41 Number 10, on page 26
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com