724 | First song – Miguel Hernandéz, Spain

Painting Antoni Miro

First Song

The field has retreated
seeing it is man’s
convulsive assault.

What an abyss is laid bare
between the olive tree and man!

The animal that sings:
the animal that can
cry and take root
recalls its claws.

Claws that it covered
with smoothness and flowers,
but which, in the end, he bares

in all their cruelty.

They crackle in my hands.
Keep away from them, boy.
I am ready to flash them,
into your soft flesh.

I’ve turned into a tiger.
Move away, or I’ll tear you apart.

Today love is death,
and man lies in ambush for man.

Miguel Hernández, Spain, 1910 – 28.3.1942

Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan