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John Samuel Tieman: After Jorge Guillén

Love Asleep

You slept and your arms stretched and almost caressed

my insomnia. It was

as if you surrounded me with your dream –

me sleepless and hunted by the merciless moon –

and I dreamt I fell asleep in your arms.


If you are curious, here’s Guillén’s original poem:

Amor dormido
Dormías, los brazos me tendiste y por sorpresa
rodeaste mi insomnio. ¿Apartabas así
la noche desvelada, bajo la luna presa?
tu soñar me envolvía, soñado me sentí.


and a ‘literal’ translation:

Love asleep
As you slept, the arms stretched out to me and by surprise

you surrounded my insomnia. Did you remove just like that

the sleepless night, me prey to the moon?

Your dream enveloped me, and I felt that I dreamed.

Translation and compilation copyright 2020 John Samuel Tieman. Jorge Guillén’s poem is in the public domain.

Jorge Guillén Álvarez (1893 – 1984) was a Spanish poet, a member of the Generation of ’27, as well as a university teacher, scholar and literary critic.

One comment on “John Samuel Tieman: After Jorge Guillén

  1. Barbara Huntington
    February 19, 2021

    And sometime I just love the literal translation although both are beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2021 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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