Skip to content
Jun 14 / Jon

The Sea Within Me

Translated by Liz Rogers.

This translation is a selection of poems taken from a larger collection. To my knowledge, the poetry of Eduardo Gener Cuadrado has never before been translated. It follows that the process of selecting is of supreme importance; after all, we want this selection to be representative of his whole body of work. The book of poems in question is divided thematically into three parts; the first section deals with the sea, the second with his ‘land’ experience, and the third with his Catholic faith.

Source text: Eduardo Gener Cuadrado, El mar que llevo adentro. [Jerez de la Frontera]: Jerez Industrial, 1964.

“In memoriam”
By Eduardo Gener Cuadrado

10 years now and a bitter slime
inside us, over your still remains.
God is smiling, “oh, what a shame”,
facing your soul of honey and lime.

10 years, José Alfonso de Gabriel.
You with Him and us with this pain.
Each day that passes the woe does not wane,
we with you but you with Him, meanwhile.

Winding down the cyclone of leaps and of bounds
when in your youth, svelte and profound
God claimed it to tell you: my fellow,

to give you as much as His essence contains;
the soul of all souls, the plain of all plains;
though you go with Him, we still say “hello”.

“I embody it”
By Eduardo Gener Cuadrado

Frosted sea glass
crackles over the wave:
skin of the sea, my body.

Life’s hot sweat
in this slimy ruin
of the dead, is now diluted.

The taste, it bites,
of mislaid gold in
rusting treasure chests.

The sea in me
so acutely I feel
that it seems to dissolve away.

“A fog in the Strait!”
By Eduardo Gener Cuadrado

The monstrosity, Gibraltar’s giant snout:
it laps the ocean’s salty water up.

In Algeciras, the tariff arabesque
makes its way from Ceuta; all the while,
a fog drifts down, judicious, through the Strait:

She wears a suit of fine-spun silken grey,
her décolletage left out exposed to view;
her skirt extends, the frilling ruffles flounce
(with fingertips she picks it up to keep
from swelling, the hemline against the floor azure);
below, her pretty little silk chopines
reign down, drizzled with silver lining; silent,
her cunning derides the dangers, laughing.

The glossy swordfish and steely urchins tossed
by fierce waves and surf of such a narrows;
and Tarifa to Tangier, the tariff arabesque.

And the monstrous Gibraltar’s giant snout:
still laps the ocean’s salty water up.

“The Four Elements, my lady and I”
By Eduardo Gener Cuadrado


Dirt, mud and sand:
your foot sinks
Leaves me marked


Blue deep:
mermaid dives
‘Tis you, my thirst


Heavy space:
I lie within
Your skin


Inside you:
an ardent flame
I remain

By Eduardo Gener Cuadrado

Facing the Gate of San Isidoro
the Virgin of Loreto alone,
the gilded air is full of Her essence:
that verse from the sonnet has flown.

Leave a Comment

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada
This work by Spanish 401, UBC, Professor Jon Beasley-Murray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada.