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Attempted Canticle in the Temple

Salvador Espriu

How tired I am of this,
my craven, ancient, savage fatherland;
how it would delight me to leave and go
beyond the farthest north,
where the people, they say, are noble and clean,
cultured, rich, and free,
unsupervised and happy!
But then my disapproving brethren would tell the congregation:
‘Leaving his native place a man becomes like a bird leaving the nest,’
while I, in the distance, laughed
at the law, the antique wisdom,
of this my arid people.
But the dream will never be followed,
I’ll stay here till my death.
For I too am full of cowardice and savagery,
and also in despair and pain love this poor land,
my sad, unclean, unlucky fatherland.

Espriu, Salvador. El caminant i el mur. Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1976

Translated by Pearse Hutchinson
Pearse Hutchinson
A hora foscant - Josep Carner
Angoixa de l’alta nit - Josep Carner
Assaig de càntic en el temple - Salvador Espriu
Cor fidel - Josep Carner
Joc - Pere Quart
Mans - Àlex Susanna
Nadal - Joan Salvat-Papasseit
Oda a Barcelona - Jacint Verdaguer
Ostende, 31 desembre 1949 - Josep Carner
Per a tots nosaltres - Miquel Martí i Pol
Retorn a Catalunya - Josep Carner
Sol - Josep Palau i Fabre
Temps nou - Miquel Martí i Pol
Vacances pagades - Pere Quart
Vistes al mar - Joan Maragall
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