Agustí Bartra
LA IL·LUSTRACIÓ POÈTICA METROPOLITANA & CONTINENTAL
Plurilingual Anthology of Catalan Poetry
English

 
Agustí Bartra
(Barcelona, 1908 Ė Terrassa, 1982)


WHEN, FINALLY, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT...
LIKE...
ANGEL OF LIGHT
IF I DONíT HAVE YOU...

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WHEN, FINALLY, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT...



When, finally, there is nothing left of me but my words
Perched like birds on the taut wires
Of spirits faightul to the hymns of life,
A hammer will cry out for the extinguished light.
The day will wear mimosa wreaths.
Perhaps there will be forgiveness on the ceaseless sea.
The sun will bear in its mouth, by the stem, its Everlasting
And new voices will say the joy of water.
The wind will lay waste streetlights and statues.
Summer will wear its yellow smock
And the white cane of the blind will tap on grey cobblestones.
Among the jagged rocks and in foresta of souls
Orpheus will seduce the anonymous beast.
Full moons will come to make maidens shudder,
Those who await the advent of love amid cricket and acacia.
I will be faceless. In my ears of grass
Time will ring a bell made of stars...
 

February 7, 1978



Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Agustí BARTRA, Last Poems (1977-1982), Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1984.

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LIKE...



Like he who departs with the tide and twilight,
Like the rain that settles to sleep on the leaves of the willow,
Like the footfall of the lover toward his love who sighs,
Like the wind that transforms the listless face of water,
Like the conqueror who unites land and flag,
Like the frothy vowels of the laughing sea:
Thus, I would have you come to me, Poetry,
Bearing birds, bonfires, dreams and stars...
 

March 26, 1978



Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Agustí BARTRA, Last Poems (1977-1982), Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1984.

Ě


 
 
 
 
 


 

ANGEL OF LIGHT



Allow me to stand upon the earth once more,
Oh angel of light, as you draw wealth, aloft,
From change and the stubborn root that persists.

Let me be idle upon the living earth
And behold the birth of roads that take their start
Below the stars and near the eyes of water,
While my heart searches the song of the nightingtale
And interrogates the night that bows its head under mystery.
Allow me, smiling angel of return and balance,
To soar like a poplar, trembling all over with existence,
Toward the fountainhead of the rim of horizon where spring is born.
Touched by your fingers, let the smell of haylofts
Come to lie down, near me, as if beside its master.
Donít leave me, angel, to the salary of charity
That suffering pays out as it lessens.
I am naked. And vulnerable to the diamond of day.

Let us go to ward the larks!
A red colt grazes.
The east comes, with the gull.
Oh angel of power among blind shapes,
Let me feel the titanic force
Of a blade of grass as it grows,
The prayer of the waters,
The enigma of fire.

Come, angel, accompany me with your necessary light.
Come, come, donít leave me, luminous beauty,
Creation and solace,
Piety turned spirit.
Look, angel, deep in the Valley ó Demeter sleeps; lying,
Solemn and vast, she makes a great gesture with her hand,
A gesture of protection and order, and all birds take flight,
And later, murmuring, she slowly changes position...

And the angel makes the Sign: the eternal circle.
 

Terrassa, March 25, 1982

 

Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Agustí BARTRA, Last Poems (1977-1982), Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1984.

Ě


 
 
 


 
 

IF I DONíT HAVE YOU...



If I donít have you I stand alone,
Mutilated solitude.
Silence dressed in mourning
At the most fateful hour,
No laughter, no flight:
Start to count the eyes of dawn
And the birds in every flock.
If I donít have you I stand alone
And my voice, a cavern.

If I donít have you I stand alone,
A scarecrow on the edge of the fields.
I can no longer wear the sun,
No longer wear the cape of air,
I move about like the slow snail
That bears its house upon its back.
If I donít have you I sand alone
And my voice, chimera.

If I donít have you I stand alone
Like the tallest weather vane.
As you come up, path
Of sweetscented fatigue;
As you go down, brook
Of foamy riders,
Say along with me: if I stand alone
My voice is but despair.

If I donít have you I stand alone
Like the Evening Star.
Sound, cosmic shawm,
As you strip me of fear
On days when the sky is in revolt,
And bring thimbles of water to my eyes.
If I donít have you I stand alone
And my voice is crucified.
 

Terrassa, May 5, 1982
Our Lady of the Remedy Clinic
 



Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Agustí BARTRA, Last Poems (1977-1982), Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1984.

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