El nombre / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Name

One of King Solomon’s navigators was celebrating his adventures in a diaphanous sea and displaying the pearls and corals of the abyss. He didn’t move from his shoulders a bird with a human voice.
     Some lions threatened the ship from a burning coast. The seafarers were able to distinguish them amidst the glare and wounded them with fierce arrows.
     An old man with sharp features was governing the journey by night after humiliating himself in the presence of a red moon, reduced to a skiff. He belonged to a race of light customs, experienced at prospering from war, acquiring captives to resell.
     The sailors became frightened when they heard his vile discourse and presented him with his hands tied to the mouth of wild animals, where they roared most gravely.
     The old man was directing the ship to the gardens of oblivion lotus.
     The bird with human voice showed up soon afterward to guarantee the fortune of the navigation. A passenger tried to bring it down with his ivory bow. But he was dissuaded by the unanimous scream of the rest.
     The bird perched itself on the shoulder of the Hebrew navigator, author of the story. It was enunciating at every instant its owner’s name and retained in its wings a dressing room’s perfume. Happiness is the constant appellative of princesses in fantastical kingdoms.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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