Wednesday, April 11, 2018




   You know a man by his love. Love is his natural fruit, the one most
his, the one most free from his surroundings. 

   Love is the only thing that buds, grows and ripens with all the
simplicity, purity and grace of an orange on an orange tree or a rose
on a rosebush.

   There are men who do not love, but nobody knows anything about
them. They have nothing to say to the anguish of the world.

   Love is man's reward. It is his birthmark. Like a red-hot iron,
it brands him. It makes it possible to pick him out of a crowd, to
recognize him, to know him.

   You cannot know a man by the pirouetting words he puts on like
so many colored sequins. You cannot know him by the work of his
hands or the work of his mind because it's life that bestows such
work or rejects it. Be it chance or be it destiny, life giveth and life
taketh away.

    There are many who pass straight through life because they
never turn to face the winds, and there are others who bend like a
bow to find their balance tin the storm, and there are still others who
project themselves beyond, through the wind, shot forth on the sharp,
quivering arrow within.

   The noble word is certainly prophetic. And a useful work gives
us hope. But only love reveals, in a rapid flash of light, the beauty of
a soul.


Dulce Maria Loynaz
selected poems
translated from the Spanish by James O' Connor
Archipelago books, 2016