Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 20, Volume 7 Number 6, July - August 1981.

The Nightingale On The Rock (translated by Bill Affleck) Luis Cernuda

translated by Bill Affleck

IMPERTURBABLE iris fashioned out of stone,
by the monastery orchard you come into view.
Nightingale clearly through the pines
and about to begin a silent song.
Like the pomegranate fruit, rough on the outside,
more satisfying and juicy deep inside,
so, Escorial, I see you in my memory.
As you point sternly towards the wide heavens,
across the quiet water of the lily pond
turned into gracefulness you smile. And clouds
crown your immortal ambitions.

I remember well the south where the olive tree grows
beside the shining sea and the white farmhouse,
but now in memory I travel higher, to the mountains
grey under a blue sky, covered with pine trees,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image