A Poem by Miguel Hernandez, translated from the Spanish by Don Share and published in the New York Review of Books, April 4, 2013
The poet and playwright Miguel Hernandez (1910 – 1942) was born into a peasant family in the province of Alicante in southeast Spain and died from tuberculosis in a prison hospital there at age thirty-one. For much of his life he worked, like his father, as a shepherd. As a soldier and cultural ambassador for the Republican Army during the Spanish civil war, Hernandez read his poems and plays on the radio and on the front lines. When the war ended in 1939, he was arrested and sentenced to death (commuted to thirty years in prison).
Everything is Filled with You
Everything is filled with you,
and everything is filled with me;
the towns are full,
just as the cemeteries are full
of you, all the houses
are full of me, all the bodies.
I wander down streets losing
things I gather up again:
parts of my life
that have turned up from far away.
I wing myself toward agony,
I see myself dragging
through a doorway,
through a creation’s latent depths.
Everything is filled with me:
with something yours and memory
lost, yet found
again, at some other time.
A time left behind
golden on your body.
Pierced by your hair,
everything is filled with you,
with something I haven’t found,
but look for among your bones.