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Photography By Phil Gennuso – You can click on the image for full size

 ¿Cómo decía usted, amigo mío?
¿Que el amor es un río? No es extraño.
Es ciertamente un río
que uniéndose al confluente del desvío,
va a perderse en el mar del desengaño.

What did you say my friend?
That love is a river?
Yes, you have something there!
It certainly is a river,
a river that takes many detours
and gets lost in the sea of disappointment.




The translation today is for the second poem in Abrojos, or Thistles.

I know, it has been quite awhile since I started this project and posted my translation with notes for the first poem of this iconic work by Ruben Dario, Abrojos, published in 1887, when he was just twenty years old. I am sorry for the delay. I ended up moving from my home of eighteen years in August 2018, and just as I was beginning to settle into my new place, the Pandemic hit and other topics took center stage.

Just to refresh, the first poem deals in a tender way with first love. Ruben Dario’s young life, when he was a teenager, was filled with romantic dreams and longings and disappointments, as he reveals in his autobiography.  So it is no surprise that the second poem in Abrojos also deals with the topic of love. 

In this poem, he seems a bit older, consoling with a friend. This is no longer a first love, he has had other romantic yearnings and dreams. But they all have left him sad and discouraged. Love is like a winding river that can only flow into a sea of disappointment.

Translating this poem was a bit of a challenge. A more literal translation just did not sound poetic in today’s language. I would not be surprised if some of the original lines in Spanish, were more in the way of colloquial expressions from a different time. Expressions whose exact meanings are no longer available. 



Below is a link to the home page for my upcoming Ebook which will feature translations and illustrations for the first book of poetry, Abrojos, written by poet Ruben Dario, published when he was twenty.




Photography by Phil Gennuso Arts – You can click on image for full size