La ciudad / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The City

I lived in an unhappy city, divided by a dull river, trailing toward the sunset. Its banks, of immutable trees, were obstructing the light of a troublesome sky.
     I was awaiting the close of the ambiguous day, interrupted by the yellow sage trees. I was leaving my diverted house in demand of the afternoon and its glimmers.
     The declining sun was painting the city of the profaned ruins.
     The birds would pass by to repose further on.
     I was feeling the obstacles and latches of an impeded life. The ghost of a woman, image of bitterness, was following me with its infallible somnambulant steps.
     The sea was startling my absorption, undermining the earth in the night’s secret. The breeze was disorganizing the sandbanks, blinding the shrubs of a low coastline, ending in an extenuated flower.
     The city, afflicted by time and received in a bend of the continent, kept secular customs. It counted with water carriers and beggars, versed in proverbs and advice.
     The most skilled of all of them was pressing my attention referring to the similarity of an Indian apologist. He managed to accelerate the course of my thought, turning my accord inside out.
     The pre-dawn aura was forcibly refreshing my fevered head, exiling the flock of a confused dream.

La torre de Timón (1925)

Translator’s Note: An English version of this poem translated by Cedar Sigo and Sara Bilandzija can be read at the Project for Innovative Poetry blog (scroll down).

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

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