Serafita / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


I witness the somber punishment of pride.
     The unruly king is conceited about his inflexible virtue.
     A stone, thrown by the hand of a lout, wounds the face of the profane image of victory, jewel of the palace front.
     The lyrical nightingales, beneath the uniform sky, celebrate an enchanted country. They infuse the nostalgia of the sun and sunflower and declare themselves captives to flowers dressed up according to Iris’s frolicking.
     An arduous thought wounds, since becoming a widower, the king’s soul. Family members flee from the atmosphere of purity and raving.
     His daughter crosses, aerial and celestial, the chambers and towers. She hears the hymn of the larks at the triumph of the mystical warrior of the magic chalice.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }


Daniel said...


Thank you for this fantastic work of translating who is today considered as one of the three top poets of Venezuela (and going up?).

You may want to consider, though, to also publish the original along the translation.

Guillermo Parra said...

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the comment. Translating Ramos Sucre is an adventure. Like Shakespeare, his work grows richer the more you read it.

As for the originals, I'd have to figure out a way to format it so it's not too cluttered. I should probably direct readers more explicitly to the Biblioteca Ayacucho hyperlink at the bottom of each post, where his Obra completa is available for free as a PDF.


Daniel said...

What you could do is as I do for my posts: split them with the Spanish original below. You just need to find a way to change the "read more" default into "read the original".