Scene in the Tropics

08-04 Casal
Julián del Casal
1863 – 1893


Insects and dust. A leaden atmosphere
Where loud the clappings of the thunder sound.
Like swans in mud, pure white against a ground
Of ashes, clouds immaculate appear.
The sea has paralyzed its waves, their clear
Green rush is still; above that bosom round
Lightning, within a frame of peace profound,
Lets forth a swift and sudden crimson spear.
Dreamily nods the lazy tree its head;
Deep calm, unbalanced, reels before attack,

And rapid sea gulls rend the air amain.
Across the spacious vault a bolt is sped,
And then upon the earth’s great smoking back
Sharply descend the crackling drops of rain.


Translation by Ruth Matilda Anderson

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