Del destierro / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Of Exile

I carry in my spirit the desolation of the landscape, nature is in mourning; the mountain communicated its immobility to the fog that envelops it; the air is orphaned of aroma and song, melancholic trees, sleepily agonize under a leaden sky, in an asphyxiating atmosphere. In this place full of silence, it seems as though my heart only lives on encouraged by a memory, by a dead sensation.
     I remember the morning, when she passed me, incarnation of tempting beauty that would torment an ascetic’s dream: arrogant stride, disdainful gesture; from the depths of her eyes’ perverse glance occult love was throwing its arrows; on her face, living silk a mole like a diminutive muffled star; with a blonde head she was placing a smile of light a festival sun...
     In divine ecstasy, wanting to make that instant eternal, I contemplated her as she walked away with my tranquility through the astonishing avenue of trees, whose leaves whispered with murmurs of very still voices.
     From that moment shame is my host, I live consecrated to her, whose absence kills me; that memory that torments me like a claw sinking made its nest in my chest.
     We live off pain and the past, dispelling sadness, making black thoughts flee, the memory of that woman makes my heart palpitate, the only being who seems to live in this place of silence nature, tired of activity and anxious dies.

Translator’s Note: This text, Ramos Sucre's first publication, appeared in the Cumaná literary magazine Ritmo e ideas on 15 December 1911.

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

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