25 Sep 14
and in the shop…
in translation –
“Selected Poems of Antonio Machado”
“Ice Flowers Over Rock”
1. He was seen walking with a squad of riflemen
up a broad street and out
to the freezing countryside,
stars still shining in the dawn sky.
They murdered Federico at first light,
his executioners could not look him in the face,
they all closed their eyes,
no doubt praying
that not even God would be willing to save you, Federico.
Blood on his forehead, lead in his guts.
The crime happened in Granada,
– poor Granada! – Federico’s Granada.
2. The poet and Death
He could be seen openly strolling with Her,
not afraid of her sickle.
The sun already moving
from tower to tower;
hammers at work on the anvil, anvil,
anvil in the coals of the forge.
Federico was conversing with death,
flirting. And She was listening to him:
Only yesterday, my dear, I heard the clapping
of your dry palms. You wanted to bring
a touch of ice into my song and the sharp point
of your sickle into my tragedy.
I’ll sing to you of your missing flesh
your hollow eyes
your hair shaken by the wind
and your red lips which never lacked lovers.
How good it feels, today as yesterday,
to have you to myself, dear Gypsy Death,
in the breeze of Granada, my Granada.
We watched him leave.
Friends, the time has come,
to build a burial mound
out of stone and dreams
and place it by a fountain
in the Alhambra, one
which keeps on weeping
and endlessly repeating:
the crime was in Granada,