Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.
from the August 2007 issue

(“Lengua”: María Zambrano)

The word's dawn is meaning's night

I walk in springtime. The wild, strange, violent spring. Birdsong. The beginning of
everything, verdure that seems to levitate. Death with a cig in its long holder

Chiastic life

Aristotle's reason, Parmenides' vision

In every word beyond day
and night, birth
and death this attestation of the unspeakable. A

pearl that goes from mouth to mouth. I shall bow down over the dead woman's body there in the
     green grass. Her
pale face, her gazeless gaze

My warm moist tongue in her cold, white, dry, delightful nicotine-mouth where

no pearl also is a


María Zambrano (1904-91), philosopher and author. Like many Spanish twentieth-century intellectuals, she lived in exile for the greater part of her adult life. After the death of Franco she returned to Spain. Tirelessly productive, she lived to see her work command a wide audience.

From Ögonblicket är för Pindaros ett litet rum i tiden [The Moment for Pindar Is a Small Space in Time] (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 2006). Copyright Magnus William-Olsson. Translation copyright 2007 by Rika Lesser. All rights reserved.

Read more from the August 2007 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.