The Wings, by Delmira Agustini

I don’t know much about Delmira Agustini, but I encountered a few of her poems in my very favorite poetry anthology some years ago and was absolutely entranced. I wish my Spanish was better so that I could read her work in its intended language, but even in translation, poems like “The Wings” are magnificent.

THE WINGS (excerpt)

Do you remember the glory of my wings?
The golden harmony
of their rhythm, their ineffable
bright colors saturated with all the treasures
of the rainbow — but a new rainbow,
and dazzling, and divine —
so that the Future’s perfect eyes (eyes that can see all
light!) will worship…the flight.

The fiery, ravenous, singular flight
that for so long twisted the heavens,
woke up suns and meteors and storms,
shedding brilliance and fullness
onto lightning and the stars: with enough heat
and shade for all the World —
enough, even, to hatch the idea
of the “Beyond.”

One day, when I lay strangely
exhausted, on the earth,
I fell asleep in the forest’s deep carpet…
I dreamed…divine things!
I thought a smile of yours awakened me…
I did not feel my wings!…
My wings?…

I saw them melt away —  between my arms —
exactly as if they were thawing!

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