Mar latino / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Latin Sea

I am glossing the passage in the Iliad where the old men from Troy confess Helen’s beauty. A flowering woman with the same name listens to me. We both feel the solemnity of that moment in the epic and await the clamor of the disaster suspended over the city.
     Agamemnon, the king of a thousand ships, can hurry, inventing surnames, the unfolding of the battle.
     The succession of sea glints, present in Homer’s memory, disappears under the single tint of blood.
     The woman invites me to stop recounting the fabulous calamities and to follow the trail of a more serene fantasy, in demand of some islands in the west. Horace would remember them when he wanted to rest from contemporary evil.
     I set forth on the unreal excursion using the lapidary residuals of a lost legend. Our vessel solicits, by sail and oar, the sunset’s chimerical gardens. We have entrusted ourselves to a pilot from the Aeneid. His name today designates a promontory of the Tyrrhenian.
     The magic voice of my companion scatters the sirens boasting about their hair, which is tangled with algae and corals, and quiet in a mournful song. She invites, under the sky of vanished light, the host of subterranean larva, messengers from a spectral world.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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