Antique Scene with Malopoeia

We present this work in honor of the 70th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Winétt de Rokha
1892 – 1951


A cave, with stalactites and stalagmites,
all white, like the index finger of the morning.
A tapestry, blood-spattered, repetitive,
my slipper but one seed in the watermelon.

Every eye doubles itself in the little mirrors of my toe-nails;
my arms fall, lift themselves, and fall again through autumn.

The word becomes a butterfly of the night,
bats its wings, stops, opens itself to unforeseen pearls —
catches at an echo that rolls slowly
away, dividing and dividing again, and chases after its own flight
like the mane of a comet as it dissolves.


Translation by J. Mark Smith

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