Dawn fields at sunrise wash
green meadows at the river.
-The early morning will be wed
to the adventurous wind
that blows in from the sea.
-Oh, how dashing is the adventurous wind!
-In his arms she died one evening of love
already buried by the oak groves
in her little coffin of song.
Midday fields at noon lay out
green meadows in the sun.
-As yet in her eyes I see no night.
-And her hands are all forgotten
all lined over with tiring work
and she has little moon flowers with no stalks.
-For her wedding dress
the larks sold her curly lace
at the moon’s market
she bought moonlit silk
at the stall of dawn
she bought sunlit kerchiefs.
The evening fields put away
green meadows in the shade.
Iglesias Alvariño from Cómaros Verdes
I am enjoying Iglesias Alvariño. I can re-read the poems many times because they don’t make sense, or at least the kind of linear, narrative sense that you find in prose. In this poem there are three two line stanzas that take us through the day from dawn to middaly to dusk. The image is of a villager washing sheets in the river and leaving them out to dry in the sun then taking them in in the evening, but they are not sheets, they are cómaros verdes, or pastures, and there is no villager either.
This prepares us for the humanization of other parts of the landscape: the early morning to marry the wind, the oak groves burying the morning in a coffin of song. Here we have the larks selling curly lace, which must be cow parsley or similar, sometimes known as Queen Anne’s lace in English and the moonlit silk and sunlit kerchiefs.
The whole thing reminds me of a passage in the prose of Edward Thomas when he tries to reimagine the pagan world of the gods in a vision of light over woodland. I’ll dig that out and show it to you next time because my plan with this poem is to rework it several times, moving further away from the literal translation and closer to what my feeling of it is.