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128 pages (November 30, 2004); 674KB downloadBOA Editions
; ISBN: 1929918593
Translated from the Spanish by Ana Valverde Osan. This 50-page poem is a major contemporary Spanish poet's reworking of the Greek myth of Odysseus, but with one important alteration: This time the story is told from Penelope's perspective. Upon its original Spanish publication, Ithaca earned the 1971 Leopoldo Panero Poetry award.
And who has never been to Ithaca?
Who is not familiar with her rugged environment,
the sea ring that oppresses her,
the austere intimacy she imposes on us,
the silence in adding it draws for us?
Ithaca summarizes us as a book,
she goes with us to our very selves,
she discovers for us the sound of waiting.
Because waiting has a ring:
it preserves the echo of voices that have departed.
Ithaca reveals to us life's heartbeat,
she makes us the accomplices of distance,
blind sentinels of a path
that is taking shape without us,
that we will be unable to forget because
ignorance does not know oblivion.
It is painful to wake up one day
and to gaze at the sea that enfolds us,
that annoints us with salt and baptizes us like new children.
We remember the days of shared wine,
the words, not the echo;
the hands, not the diluted gesture.
I see the sea that surrounds me,
the vague color into which you got lost,
I check the horizon with exhausted eagerness,
I allow my eyes for a moment
to carry out their beautiful function;
then, I turn my back
and I lead my footsteps toward Ithaca.