This green poem, leaf by leaf,
is rocked by the fertile, southwest wind;
this poem is a country that dreams,
a cloud of light and a breeze of green leaves.

Falls of water, stones, clouds, leaves
and an agile breath in everything, they are the song.
There were palms, palms and the breeze
and a light like swords through the atmosphere.

The loyal wind that rocks my poem,
the loyal wind that the song impels,
rocked the leaves, rocked the clouds, happily
rocking white clouds and green leaves.

I am the voice that gave songs to the wind
pure songs west of my clouds;
my heart in every palm, a broken
date tree, united the multiple horizons.

And in my country herding clouds,
I put my heart in the south, and to the north
like two rapacious birds, my eyes
pursued the flock of the horizons.

Life is beautiful, a hard hand, shy fingers
as they create the fragile vase
of your song, fill it with your joy
or with the hidden honeys of your crying.

This green poem, leaf by leaf
is rocked by a fertile wind, a slender
wind that loved the grass and skies of the south,
this poem is the country of the wind.

Under a sky of swords, dark earth,
green trees, green gibberish
of the small leaves and the tardy wind
moves the leaves and the days.

Let the wind dance and let the green distances
call me with secret, hidden rustles:
a docile woman, her breast filled with honey,
she loved under the palms of my songs.

Translation: 2004, Raúl Jaime Gaviria

by Aurelio Arturo

Other poems of ARTURO (9)

Comments (34)

How is this a famous poem I don’t understand why is it so revered I don’t get it at all
I agree about the reader, replace the video.
The person reading this poem is an absolutely abysmal reader. Wm. Carlos Williams would spin in his grave if he heard her read. Terrible... Get The Hook.
IN ITALIAN: ‘La carriola rossa’ Così tanto dipende dalla ruota rossa d’una carriola lucida d’acqua piovana accanto ai polli bianchi. (William Carlos Williams,1923)
Williams would probably be amazed if he knew that his reputation as a poet is so dependent upon two of his imagistic poems, this on and This Is Just To Say. For me, they are both truly great poems, among the best by US poets. Once I was dictating this poem from memory to a class. Except that I quoted the last two lines as beside the five white / chickens. When a student pointed out my mistake, I realized the picture in my mind was so vivid that I could not forget that, in my imagination, there were five white chickens. (Well, there's also the assonance with beside and white.) I'm not sure whether I should attribute this to the vividness of the poem or the strength of my imagination. Even today, many years later, I cannot recite the poem without seeing in my mind five white chickens picking and pecking on the ground beside the red wheelbarrow. Would that I could just once write eight such memorable lines.
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