Bitter Song

Nothing troubles my being, but I am sad.
Something slow and dark strikes me,
though just behind this agony,
I have held the stars in my hand.

It must be the caress of the useless,
the unending sadness of being a poet,
of singing and singing, without breaking
the greatest tragedy of existence.

To be and not want to be … that’s the motto,
the battle that exhausts all expectation,
to find, when the soul is almost dead,
that the miserable body still has strength.

Forgive me, oh love, if I do not name you!
Apart from your song I am dry wing.
Death and I sleep together…
Only when I sing to you, I awake.

Julia de Burgos (Translated by Jack Agüeros)