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Consummation Cover

Cover design by Kerrie Kemperman from a drawing of Vicente Aleixandre, Madrid, 1976, by Hollis deLancey.

Vicente Aleixandre (1898-1984), one of Spain’s leading twentieth-century poets and the 1977 Nobel laureate in literature, published Poemas de la consumación in 1968, at the age of seventy.  The book, translated into English for the first time in its entirety by Stephen Kessler and published by Black Widow Press, is a lyrical and metaphysical investigation into the mysteries of youth, sex, memory, old age, death, and oblivion. (For more about Stephen Kessler's translations, click on cover above.)


Kisses Are Like the Ocean

Symbols don’t matter
nor the vain words that are only a breath.
What matters is an echo of what I heard and hear.
Your voice, still alive though dead, like me still speaking
to you here in passing.

You were more substantial,
more lasting, not because you were kissed,
nor because kisses burned you more firmly into existence.
But because the ocean,
after its fearful rush on the sand, grows deeper.
In greens or in foamy whites the ocean happily retreats.
As it fled and returns, you never return.

Perhaps because I couldn’t
find you rolling along the endless beach.
The track of your foam,
when the tide pulls back, stays at the edges.

I find only edges.  Only the edge of a voice that’s left in me.
Your kisses like strands of seaweed.
Magic in the light, then they turn away, dead.


Scratch Pegasus || Poems of Consummation || Street Signs || Confessions of a Heteroformalist || The Redwood Coast Review || The Mental Traveler || More About SK || Readings

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