I am not going to spell out what I am looking for, but I guess you can see that my interest in Mr Smith is more than purely coincidental. 🙂
The sea, and particularly the loss at sea, seems to be one of Mr Smith’s more common topics in his poetry. I have collected a few of those poems here. Not all of them, by any means, but those I personally considered… Worth reading, more than anything else.
1. La Isla Del Naufrago
Huérfano de naufragio
estoy en un terreno sin jardín,
sin campo cultivado,
una isla que el volcán ha desolado
en parte, y los salvajes han invadido,
teniendo ahora la mitad mayor,
las frutas y el pescado su botín.
Ellos me sitian, me detenen
lejos de los bananos y del mar:
De este lugar
no tengo que la deshojada roca,
en donde crecerán
un día los líquenes con hojas
que todas las mañanas no pueden
marchitar. . . .
blanquea los verdinegros mares. . . .
¿En tal isleta
¿puedo sobrevivir los otros insulares?
Translation of (1): Shipwrecked’s Island
I’m in a gardenless land,
without laboured soil,
one island that a volcano laid waste
in part, and savage men have invaded,
keeping now the larger half,
fruits and fish are their loot.
They put me on siege, keep me
far from banana and sea:
from this place
I have no more than defoliated rock,
where it will grow
one day lichens full of leaves
that all mornings can not
whitens black-greenish seas
In such a little island
Could I survive the other islanders?
Translation by: Ramón Cabrales
2. Sea Cycle
Below the duff, before the granite stair,
The foam-crests curl and feather in blue air,
Numberless as the helmet-plumes of hosts
Resurgent from millenium-foundered coasts.
The billows, wreathed with sea-weed and sea-flower,
Mount landward from the mermaid’s plundered bower,
And shells and pebbles, torn from sunken strands,
Shift idly on the rainbow-haunted sands.
The slow tide stirs, amid the nether main,
The sluggish treasure-galleons of Spain;
And surely, if we wait and watch awhile,
The spars of galleys cast on the Sirens’ isle,
Or broken on Saturnia’s iron keys,
Will swirl before us from the cyclic seas. . . .
Dear, shall I pray the gulf’s great deity,
Nodens, to bring once more for you and me
Some love-relinquished hour we could not save
That westered all too swiftly to the wave,
Ebbing between the cypress and the grass?
Though prayer be vain, this thing shall come to pass,
For still the solemn cycles wane and flow,
Bringing again the lost and long ago.
All that the sea has taken, the sea restores:
Somehow, somewhere, on ocean-winnowed shores,
Again we two shall wander, and shall not stay,
Finding the golden wrack of yesterday.
3. La Mare
Again, it appears that this poem was originally written in French. Couldn’t find a translation, sorry.
La lune décroissante
Se couche en noir dédale
D’une aunaie automnale
Dans la unit sans luisante.
Je me perds et m’égare
Auprès des eaux profondes,
D’une funeste mare.
Les loques de l’automne
Comme elles s’en envolent,
Dans leur chute me frôlent:
Je tremble et je frissonne.
Et ma rêvasserie
S’effeuille à l’eau prochaine
Au feuillage du frêne—
4. The Sea Gods
Beneath the sunset and the sea
Their coral-builded cities be;
They keep an old forgotten reign,
A purple, far supremacy.
The azure-girdled suns that roam,
And moons that tread the silvering foam,
Are vague above their ocean-vales;
And shaken dawns their evenings dome.
Their eyes like changing emeralds gleam
Through gulfs where winy twilights stream;
And with blue weeds their tresses flow,
As in a dark, confused dream.
But often, when long afterglows
In cold and spectral evening close,
On lonely seas they rise, and cry
From foam left grey by sunset’s rose.
Or in the mystic waves and wan,
Hushed by the moon’s marmoreal dawn,
They moan as moans the muted surf
On shores of windless isles withdrawn.
Known to their dim supremacy
The deep’s forgotten secrets be;
Their old, eternal vestures are
The purples of the flowing sea.
5. Sea Memory
Since I have seen the refluent glory of the sea,
My dreams are made of azure, emerald and gold:
Tumultuous topaz, flowing sapphire manifold,
Have turned my slumber to a deep and splendid sea.
My memories are vibrant gold, sonorous green :
My brain is like a palace built from chrysolite,
Were lines of long-resounding columns infinite
For ever glimmer through a twilight gold and green.
Odysseus in Eternity
Swells our sails and bears us on
To the seas beyond the sun.