Friday, August 17, 2012

Delmira Augustini (1886-1914)

The Miraculous Ship

Provision a ship for me like a great idea...
Some will call her The Shadow; others, The Star.
She need not lie at the mercy of hand or cat's paw;
I want her conscious, untameable and fair!

What will drive her is the rhythm of a bloodstained heart
of superhuman Life; in her I will feel strong
as if in the arms of God. Whatever seas and what-
ever quarter the wind her prow ill temper with a cinder's sparkling.

I will freight her with all of my sadness, and without a fix
will spin like the lotus flower's broken calyx
across the liquid horizon of the sea...

Ship, sister soul: toward what unseen land,
what deep soundings or things unimagined
will we hear?... Already living and dreaming make me die...

—Translated from the Spanish by Karl Kirchwey

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