Today we will add to the pantheon of Andalusian poets featured on this blog, after such as Gongora, Machado, Lorca and Hernandez. Vicente Aleixandre qrote in the 20th century. But unlike many of his contemporaries he did not go into exile under the Franco regime.
This poem talks of the legacy a poet can leave, what is fleeting and what can endure. And the reflections do not just apply to poets of course. There is something for everyone here.
El poeta se acuerda de su vida
Perdonadme: he dormido.
Y dormir no es vivir. Paz a los hombres.
Vivir no es suspirar o presentir palabras que aún nos vivan.
¿Vivir en ellas? Las palabras mueren.
Bellas son al sonar, mas nunca duran.
Así esta noche clara. Ayer cuando la aurora
o cuando el día cumplido estira el rayo
final, ya en tu rostro acaso.
Con tu pincel de luz cierra tus ojos.
La noche es larga, pero ya ha pasado.
Life seems long but in reality when life nears its end, it seems like it has been over in just a moment. Direct experience of seeing and feeling can seem very vivid and real, but it passes quickly. Words are no better, they can sound beautiful, but they will also fade and die.
Here is a poet with no illusions about gaining immortality through his work. It is enough to exercise his talent in the moment, for its own sake, with no expectation of remembrance or lasting impact. And, why not? The moment is all we have and most of us will all be forgotten when life has come to an end.
The Poetry Dude