Francisco Aragón translates Gerardo Diego


       for G. Jean-Aubrey

Bridge upstream bridge downstream
the rain’s out for a stroll
The river unfolds my wings
and birds flash their lights

All of us are gloomy and sad
All of you are too
O when will spring arrive
to skate along this walkway

Winter passes and passes
river downstream river upstream
The miller’s wife has seen it
pensively wade across

Trees shut their umbrellas
My hands spread the cold
Old birds and stars
mistake each others’ nests

The rain reaches the opposite shore
I will not dismiss it
It quickens the mill
and regulates the clock

Tomorrow the sun will un-rise
and hollow drops of rain
swoop into the bell for refuge

Francisco Aragón’s most recent book is After Rubén (Red Hen Press, 2020). His books as a translator include four volumes by Francisco X. Alarcón (1954 – 2016). His translations have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Chain, Chelsea, Jacket, Nimrod, and ZYZZYVA. For more information, visit: 

Gerardo Diego (1896 – 1987), a member of the “generation of ’27”, was the Spanish poet among his peers who first became interested in avant-garde poetics. The piece published here is from Handbook of Foams (1925). An accomplished pianist, music critic, and editor, he shared the Cervantes Prize—Spanish letters’ highest honor—with Jorge Luis Borges in 1979.