La vuelta de Ulises / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Return of Ulysses

     Penelope summons the maids to interrogate them about the suitors’ latest outrage and about the trap directed against the life of Telemachus.

     Penelope is seated in an authoritarian chair, seat of the patriarchal kings, and lightly poses her shod feet on an oaken footstool.

     Penelope conforms herself to the fright of the muttering women. They interrupt each other at every step to turn their suspicious face and conclude their reference with entreaties and votes for the fickle numens.

     Telemachus departed in demand of his progenitor, under the council of his casual guest, of eminent bearing and veracious discourse, and with the auspices of an eagle applied to break the host of some miserable birds.

     He sails toward the palace of a remorseful king, occupied with the memory of his own and safe from their deplorable end. He gathers fragmentary news during the welcoming feast and admires the treasures of distant origin and their owner’s modesty. He remains in ecstasy under the immobile glance of a granite mask, uncovered on the shore of a deified river, amid lotuses and palm trees.

     The remorseful king recounts his journeys and forays, his shipwrecked arrival as a beggar before the throne of the sovereigns of dissimilar race and the frequent risk of succumbing to thirst amid a paralyzed sea.

     The suitors gather once again for the orgy and vainly inquire the whereabouts of the old rhapsodist, anxious to dispel their unanimous sorrow. They retire solitary and fretful when they hear, from the kitchen workers, the news of the fire’s ineptitude and of its wasting in the quick and ephemeral blaze of a fatuous fire.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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