Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



The poet asks his beloved about the 'Enchanted City' of Cuenca

Did you like the city carved by water,
drop by drop, in the heart of the pinetrees?
Did you see dreams and faces and streets
and wailing walls lashed by the air?

Did you see the blue crack of broken moon
the river Júcar wets with glass and song?
Were your fingers kissed by the hawthorns
that crown with love the distant stones?

And did you remember me when you went
up into the silence suffered by the serpent,
the captive of crickets and shadows?

Did you see in the transparent air
that dahlia of sorrow and pleasure
my warm heart had sent you?


English translation by Paul Archer of Lorca's El poeta pregunta a su amor por la <Cuidad Encantada> de Cuenca.
For more translations from Lorca's Sonetos del amor oscuro, go to Sonnets of Dark Love.

Note by the translator:
The Enchanted City is an area of huge limestone rock formations that have been carved by erosion. Some are said to resemble the ruined buildings of an ancient city; others have the likeness of animals like turtles, elephants, crocodiles and bears. It was declared a Natural Site of National Interest in 1929 and is located in the municipality of Cuenca, Eastern Spain, in a large area of pine forests. The river Júcar flows through Cuenca.

Sonnets of Dark Love
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