Feliz cumpleaños Jorge Guillén


One of the spanish poets of the “Generation of ’27” Guillén lived to the ripe old age of 91.

A prolific poet and a respected academic, nominated four times for the Nobel Literature prize.  On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he was imprisoned in Pamplona for political reasons.  He was released and continued to teach in Seville until 1938.

Then he emigrated to the United States.  There is speculation that Nationalist Catholic Spain was an unhealthy environment for an academic married to a Jewish wife.  It certainly proved to be a very unhealthy climate for his fellow Generation 27 poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

So to a poem about death looming in the distance. A grey wall across our future obscuring what lies beyond.


Muerte a lo lejos: by Jorge Guillén

Je soutenais l’éclat de la mort toute pure.



Alguna vez me angustia una certeza,

Y ante mí se estremece mi futuro.

Acechándolo está de pronto un muro

del arrabal final en que tropieza


La luz del campo. ¿Mas habrá tristeza

si la desnuda el sol? No, no hay apuro

todavía. Lo urgente es el maduro

fruto. La mano ya lo descorteza.


…Y un día entre los días el más triste

será. Tenderse deberá la mano

sin afán. Y acatando el inminente


Poder diré sin lágrimas: embiste,

justa fatalidad. El muro cano

va a imponerme su ley, no su accidente.



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