José Moreno Villa / The truth

The truth

There is a line in the sky for me.
I see it, I’m looking at it;
I cannot translate it,
it’s encrypted.
I understand it with all my body;
I cannot speak it.

(La verdad)

Translated by Johannes Beilharz.

Spanish poet José Moreno Villa (1887-1955) belonged to the influential group Generación del 27. Other members included Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti, Jorge Guillén and Vicente Aleixandre.

A difficulty in the translation of this seemingly simple poem is the double meaning of the Spanish word cielo, which can mean sky as well as heaven. It is quite possible that Moreno Villa meant heaven, adding a supernatural element, but I suppose even Spanish readers have to decide what he meant.

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About beilharz

Writer, painter, translator, photographer
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