Elegy for the Sea

Fernando Valverde

Translated by: Liam Walke


Artwork by Anonymous

I, who learned to look at myself in your mirrors,

who discovered life through your bonds,

who knelt the nights down at my feet

to find a remedy

for the sickly sensation of my melancholy,

for the sweet sadness that made its return

and assured its place forever between us.

 

You, who were

a piece of me

just as rain is part of winter;

you, who never gave in, never held back,

as cyclical in your steps as the motionless moon

tattooed on your skin.

 

And now you are here,

in front of me again,

reluctant to see me defeated,

to count my feats as disasters.

 

Tired before my eyes, so tired

that I sense your unfortunate end,

an end where no one would take your apathy       

over the trembling of any reason.

 

We are no longer the child

who searched in the night

for the timely antidote to happiness,

who answered

questions with strength and audacity,

who never gave up fighting without cause,

who never held a goodbye in his hand.

 

Wrapped in foam

there is nothing left of you but your misfortune.

 

Might it be because cities are submerged

or perhaps because the cold has defeated you,

the cold that the years leave

behind words,

so deep inside bodies that there are hardly any symptoms anymore

of this sad facade, of this somnambular pain,

of the fear of being so alone against the world.

Fernando Valverde

Fernando Valverde is a critically acclaimed poet based in Granada, Spain. Among the most talented (and awarded) peninsular poets of his generation, his work has been published in Spain (by Visor Libros) and throughout Latin America, Italy, and the United States. Valverde is the director and co-founder of the Festival Internacional de poesía de Granada.

Liam Walke
Liam Walke is relatively new to literary translation, though his work has appeared previously in Diálogos online literary forum, and his translation of Valverde’s “Paisaje nevado” is forthcoming in the spring issue of the Blue Lyra Review. Liam works as a freelance translator and editor, splitting his time between Montreal and Ottawa.