Amado Nervo


Me besaba mucho, como si temiera                     

Me besaba mucho, como si temiera
irse muy temprano… Su carino era
inquieto, nervioso. Yo no comprendia
tan febril premura. Mi intencion grosera
nunca vio muy lejos
¡Ella presentia!
Ella presentia que era corto el plazo,
que la vela herida por el latigazo
del viento, aguardaba ya …,  y en su ansiedad
quería dejarme su alma en cada abrazo,
poner en sus besos una eternidad.       

 

Her Kisses Were Many

Her kisses were many, as if she
feared she would leave me early.
Her love was restive, impatient.
I could not understand such fevered haste.
My dull intention never saw very far.
But she saw.
She saw her time was short,
that the candle blown by the slashing
wind was burning low.  And in her
anxiety, her one hope was
to leave me her soul in each embrace,
in her kisses, eternity.

 

 

 

 ¿Cómo es?

¿Es Dios personal?
¿Es impersonal?
¿Tiene forma?
¿No tiene forma?
¿Es esencia?
¿Es sustancia?
¿Es uno?
¿Es múltiple?
¿Es la conciencia del Universo?
¿Es Voluntad sin conciencia y sin fin?
¿Es todo lo que existe?
¿Es distinto de todo lo que existe?
¿Es como el alma de la naturaleza?
¿Es una LEY?
¿Es, simplemente, la armonía de las fuerzas?
¿Está en nosotros mismos?
¿Es nosotros mismos?
¿Está fuera de nosotros?
Alma mía, hace tiempo que tú
ya no te preguntas estas cosas.
Tiempo ha que estas cosas ya no
te interesan.
Lo único que tú sabes es que Le amas.

 
What is He like?

Is God personal?
Is He impersonal?
Does He have a shape?
Doe He not have a shape?
Is He an essence?
Is He a substance?
Is He one?    
Is He multiple?
Is He the conscience of the Universe?
Is He Will without consciousness or end?
Is He all that exists?
Is He different from all that exists?
Is He like the soul of nature?
Is He a law?
Is He simply a harmony of forces?
Is He within ourselves?
Is He ourselves?
Is He outside of ourselves?
My soul, it has been a long time since
you have asked yourself such things.
For so long these questions have been
of no interest to you.

what you know—all you can know—
is that you love Him.

 

 

Oh Cristo

Ya no hay dolor humano que no sea mi dolor;
Ya ningunos ojos lloran, ya ningún alma se angustia
sin que yo me angustie y llore.
Ya mi corazón es lámpara fiel de todas las vigilias,
¡Oh Cristo!

En vano busco en los hondos escondrijos de mi ser
para encontrar algún odio.  Nadie puede herirme ya
sino de piedad y amor.  Todos son yo, yo soy todos,
¡Oh Cristo!

¡Que importan males o bienes!  Para mi todos son bienes.
El rosal no tiene espinas; para mi solo da rosas.
¿Rosas de pasión?   ¡Que’ importa! Rosas de celeste esencia,
purpureas como la sangre que vertiste por nosotros.
¡Oh Cristo!

 

My Christ

There is no longer any
human sorrow
that is not my sorrow
nor are there eyes that weep,
nor a soul that suffers
whose anguish, whose tears,
I do not know.
Now my heart is the faithful lamp
that graces every vigil.
In vain do I hunt the dark hiding places
of my being to find hatred.
Today no enemy can wound me except
by denying  goodness and love.
I share identity with all, I am
all, my Christ.
Life’s misfortunes or victories
are of scant importance.
All are victories.
The rose bush has no thorns,
it bears only roses.
Roses of suffering?  No matter.
Roses of heavenly essence, of
royal purple, like the blood
you shed for us,
my Christ.

 

 

Translated by Thomas Feeny

 

Amado Nervo (1870-1919) was a Mexican poet, journalist and educator who ejoyed considerable fame during his lifetime, especailly for his poetry that,expressed his religious beliefs.

 

Thomas Feeney is a poet and translator of poetry and short fiction originally written in Romance languages. He has been at North Carolina State University since 1970.