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Pedro Saenz – La Tumba del Poeta

Pedro Saenz, The Poet’s Tomb
Pain of the Matador (photo by Greg Wesson)

The painting by Pedro Saenz La Tumba del Poeta reminds me of two things. One, is Pain of the Matador monument in Madrid; another is a poem by Nikolai Zabolotsky written shortly before his death when he and Alexander Tvardovsky visited Italy and stopped in Ravenna by Dante’s tomb. I translated this poem but I’m still slightly unhappy with two stanzas, so I’ll omit them.

To Florence-mother always a stepson,
I chose Ravenna as my final home.
Stranger, accuse me not; let Death alone
Torment the soul of the cheating one.

I didn’t take my broken lyre with me.
It rests in peace among my native people.
Why then you, Tuscany, for whom I’ve longed so deeply,
Now on my orphaned mouth are kissing me?

Go on, almight bellman, ring your bells!
The world is still awash with blood-red foam!
I chose Ravenna as my final home
But even here I found no rest.

Julia Shuvalova © 2012

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