Musical Soul – a poem by Nicolas Guillén

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I’m just a drunkard. I am seduced

By a luminescent blue wine: a mere illusion

That a burst of spring induced

My heart and my future destination

I sing with joy and without cares

A song well suited to a solemn procession

And then I sing of triumphs with fanfares

And harmonize with rhythm any joyous occasion.

Even if life my mad soul should batter

I shall still strum my simple chord

No hands shall pluck me, nothing will matter

My heartstrings shall throb of their own accord

When death’s hand with quiet cruelty

Tears asunder my song-filled breast

And turns me into dust for all eternity

My song will resonate without rest

And again and again, in my astral wanderings

I will my longings for harmony fulfill

With cascading musical outpourings

And the simple joy of a tiny trill

Translated by Rafael de Acha