El lego del convento / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Layman of the Convent

When I traversed the roads of Italy, I had the fortune of receiving advice from Love itself, disguised as a pilgrim. No mortal, besides Dante, could count on that privilege.
     He announced to me a solitary life and congratulated me for having listened to the woman with a child’s voice, without arriving at her presence. The prayer, a Eucharistic hymn, was being born in the darkness of the countryside and flying to lose itself in the immaculate ether.
     I removed myself from the world and directed my contemplation to the very object of the sacred canticle. I renounced earthly applause and forgot the idle pursuit of art when my masters, the contemporary poets, were expressing the weariness of a generation decimated by the Napoleonic wars and Leopardi was gathering in his work the accent of the offended homeland.
     I conserved the noble admiration for the woman from the lineage of Beatrice and came to serve in a Franciscan society, professing in her benefit holy mendacity. I imitate the incipient brother, administrator of the collections donkey in Manzoni’s perfect novel.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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