A Translation: The Jump (El salto) by León Felipe

An image well-suited for this Felipe poem from http://root.timothyponce.com/

Note: I am now posting my translations here: http://leonfelipeinenglish.blogspot.co.uk/

I love León Felipe’s poetry. This post contains one of his poems that I most enjoyed translating some years ago – I hope you also enjoy reading it. This poem is from Ganarás La Luz, which you can view on Amazon here: Ganaras La Luz (Letras Hispanicas / Hispanic Writings)

The poem has an interesting take on mortality and the brevity of life, alongside living mindfully. This is particularly pertinent considering that Felipe fought in the Spanish Civil War; a time of both brutality and uncertainty.

THE JUMP (El salto)
We are like a horse without memory, 
we are like a horse 
that has already forgotten 
the last hurdle jumped. 
We come into this world running, running 
along century-long tracks ridden with obstacles, 
including, every once in a while, death… 
                                                            The jump! 
And nobody knows how many 
times we have leapt 
to get here, nor how many more we have to leap 
to get to God sitting 
at the end of the race… 
waiting for us. 
We cry and we run, 
we fall and we turn, 
moving from one difficulty to the next 
doing skips and turns between diapers and shrouds.


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