Poems by Julio Maruri

Translated from the Spanish by Seth Laninga


Sofia Noël Sings at the Royal Palace of La Magdalena


Tonight stars will fall

between Laredo and Holland,

and through the windows

I hope to see them fall.


I am seeing them fall

-and submerge and snuff themselves out-

fall from the night to the sea

between Laredo and Holland.


Little candles of Israël

in this infinite calm

of night and sea

between Laredo and Holland.


Sofia Noël Canta en el Palacio Real de la Magdalena


Esta noche caen estrellas

Entre Laredo y Holanda,

que las veo yo caer

a través de las ventanas.


Las estoy viendo caer

-y se anegan y se apagan-

caer de la noche al mar

entre Laredo y Holanda.


Candelicas de Israël

en esta infinita calma

de la noche y de la mar

entre Laredo y Holanda.


A Very Hot May


The waiters hope for a storm,

the old folks have no thirst

and the cloud passes slowly,

for the first time,

for the last time, the cloud;

first and last time.


Mayo Con Mucho Calor


Los mozos piden tormenta,

los viejos no tienen sed

y la nube pasa lenta-

mente, por primera vez,

por última vez la nube;

primera y última vez.


Choruses and Dances


Heavens! And it’s raining,

and the olives are turning green.


And snowing,

and the countryside is gaining color.


And upon leaving,

the little birds of the avian.


And my suit,

so well-fitting and flashy!


Coros y Danzas


¡Cielos!, y está lloviendo,

y están las olivas verdeciendo.


Y nevando,

y está el campo coloreando.


Y al salir

las avecicas del pajaril


¡y mi vestido

tan cabal y lucido!


Julio Maruri was born in Santander, Spain in 1920. In 1957 he won Spain’s National Literature Prize for Obra Poética (Poetic Work). He was also an accomplished painter, and his work was widely displayed in Spain as well as France, where he spent many years teaching the craft to youth with special needs, before returning to Spain to spend his final years in his native Santander.


Seth Laninga is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and translates poetry and fiction from the Spanish. He currently lives in Austin, Texas and works in the field of public health.




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