Today’s poet, Jorge Guillen, was a contemporary of Alberti, Lorca, Hernandez, Leon and was one of those poets who left Spain for exile in the late 1930s as a result of Franco taking power in Spain – better than staying and being shot or thrown in jail for years, I guess. The poem is a short and simple shot of nostalgia for the summers of childhood, when innocent enjoyment was to be had in long summer vacations.
Lentos veranos de niñez
Con monte y mar, con horas tersas,
Horas tendidas sobre playas
Entre los juegos de la arena,
Cuando el aire más ancho y libre
Nunca embebe nada que muera,
Y se ahondan los regocijos
En luz de vacación sin tregua,
El porvenir no tiene término,
La vida es lujo y va muy lenta.
The poem successfully evokes long, languid, timeless days spent on the beach, playing in the sand, with limitless horizons stretching forward over the sea and backward over the mountains. The days are never-ending but fulfilling, there re no worries or dark clouds, for the children, probably around 8 to 10 years of age, enjoying their summer vacation. The overwhelming sense of this poem is that the passage of time seems stretched out, eternal, the repetition of “horas”, the idea of “vacacion sin tregua” and “el porvenir no tiene termino”… Those were the days, indeed.
The Poetry Dude