COSANTE

    COSANTE

With a slit tongue
and open eyes
the nightingale on the ramparts

Eyes of stored-up pain
and feathers of blood
the nightingale on the ramparts

Feathers of blood and brief dazzle
fresh water given birth in the throat
the nightingale on the ramparts

Water that runs stricken with love
water with wings
the nightingale on the ramparts

Among black stones the white voice
of love-struck water
the nightingale on the ramparts

Singing with slit tongue
blood on the stone
the nightingale on the ramparts


Octavio Paz
Translated by Denise Levertov



   Salamandra (1958-1961)    
Original version

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