The Name

That is what the verse, my verse,

that of the chosen poets, is for.

To give eternity to things.

Herein lies, then,

its true birth.

Oh, the anguish of baptizing you,

waiting for the right word

to appear!

Followed by the pain,

that ardent pleasure

of making the waiting time eternal.

It will come without its name,

naked, through the silence.

Oh, the anguish of baptizing you,

the glorious miracle of finding your name!

Because there are words that lived

only a moment

(the font, in the shade,

the luminous altar,

the invested poet),

there are also dead words

and others that live alone.

And words that throb

in the blood of a priest’s fingers.

And words to close the eyes of the dying.

And light words

that are carried by the wind.

You can live…

The name that like a blanket

will cover your body awaits you.

It will get in your blood,

it will get in your life,

in your gestures and your hours.

It will watch over your sleep.

You will have the same fragrance as your name,

which, in silence,

will always be making you,

and will be the only part of you

you take from this world.

from Shadow on Air by Grass (1959) by the Galician poet Luís Pimentel, translated by Jonathan Dunne

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