Audio: Read by the author.
Tell me, my soul, why the galleys move so fast
across the lovely blue that has not sinned.
Tell me why the wake they leave confounds you,
why the rhythm of the oars seems to enchant.
They are guilt advancing in disguise;
they are the very finest jewels of guilt.
Translated from the Spanish by Don Bogen
Julio Martínez Mesanza is among the most prominent of a generation of Spanish poets who came of age after the death of Franco in 1975. His work includes several editions of a single expanding collection called Europa. His most recent collection, Gloria (Rialp), won the Spanish National Prize for poetry.
Don Bogen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Immediate Song (Milkweed), and the translator of Europa: Selected Poems of Julio Martínez Mesanza (Diálogos). www.donbogen.com