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Fantasy and Fugue in Santillana del Mar

(English translation of Fantasía y fuga en Santillana del Mar by Antonio Colinas)

I hear the round thunder of pillars,
will the sea open blue caves behind the hills?
Moss grows in the claws of the stone lions.
Crossbows point at the belly of the children.
The village is a large tree of convoluted stone
and the rain continues to soften its back.
In the air there’s the sick scent of eucalyptus.
I will save all this night’s dream in my heart
and I will return to think of the wet hydrangeas
in the garden, the medieval grass in the cloisters.
You monsters on the arches, open wide your bulging
eyes, I know that I am also a goblin
and I know of witchcraft and miracles.
So fresh is the mouth of the night in the gargoyles.
A stone deer comes to drink at the fountain.
Its skin smells of sulfur, sea air, ivy.
It stands magnificently like a rosetree, sightless,
its silver hooves ring on each flagstone.
Many times it was mortally wounded in the forests
and just as many times it was seen through the trellis
tilting its sleepwalking head to the fountain.
How painful it is for me to wake up at night with no balcony,
with no stone ship plying the figtrees,
the primitive corn, the pagan cypresses.
I will save all the dream, the beauty that fled
and the roses of rust that continue blooming
vigorously on the railings like black hawks.

Note: Santillana del Mar is a historic town in Cantabria, Spain.

For more translations of poems by Antonio Colinas, go to Translations.

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