(from Las nubes by Luis Cernuda), translated by Ruben Quesada
Upon the old ruins it rains,
The autumn still green,
Odorless, dreams blossom,
And the body gives in.
I’m raptured in the fountains,
Along the valley there are sheer figures,
And amid the vast pale air, brilliant
Beyond the fresh babbling is the sacred
Halo of death.
Nothing is gained nor lost.
My memory grows dark.
Everything is true, except hate, as harsh
As the gray clouds
Passing vainly above this treasure,
Furiously made dim.
Llueve el otoño aún verde como entonces
Sobre los viejos mármoles,
Con aroma vacío, abriendo sueños,
Embeleso en las fuentes,
y entre el vasto aire pálido ya brillan
Unas celestes alas.
Virginal de la muerte.
Lánguido va el recuerdo.
Como ese gris celaje
Pasando vanamente sobre el oro,
Hecho sombra iracunda.
Ruben Quesada is the essays editor at The Rumpus, senior editor at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and digital content editor at CantoMundo and the Latino Caucus. He is also the editor of a forthcoming volume of essays on Latino poetics from University of New Mexico Press, the author of the poetry collection Next Extinct Mammal (Greenhouse Review Press) and translator of the early 20th century Spanish poet Luis Cernuda, Exiled from the Throne of Night (Aureole Press). His poetry, prose, and short films have been featured at The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Stand, The California Journal of Poetics, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Poetry Foundation. He’s held fellowships and residencies at the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and CantoMundo. Ruben is invested in the creation of community infrastructure and the promotion of Latino writers at all stages of their career.