Curros Enríquez- Ay!


How did it happen?  I was out
When the black spots came over him
His mother sent me a cable
And I came running.

What sorrow!  He heard my footfall
And turned his eyes towards my face
But did not see me… and cried out…  Ay!
He was already blind.

I don’t recall how long I was
Leaning over that bed of pain,
Only that they raised me with my child
Lifeless in my arms.

Butterfly with golden wings
Resting on the empty cot,
Why ask for him?  You already know
What happened to my boy.

This is a famous poem by Curros Enríquez who, along with Pombal and Rosalía de Castro, is one of the three leading figures of late nineteenth century Galician poetry.  It was written for the death of his son Leopoldo in 1879 and has been translated into Spanish and French.  It was also set to music.

The simple combination of images is powerful.  There is not much more to be said.

About Jason Preater

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