Julia de Burgos
To Julia de Burgos
The people are saying that I am your enemy,
That in poetry I give you to the world.
They lie, Julia de Burgos. They lie, Julia de Burgos.
The voice that rises in my verses is not your voice: it is my voice;
For you are the clothing and I am the essence;
Between us lies the deepest abyss.
You are the bloodless doll of social lies
And I the virile spark of human truth;
You are the honey of courtly hypocrisy; not I
I bare my heart in all my poems.
You, like your world, are selfish; not I
I gamble everything to be what I am.
Your are only the serious lady. Senora. Dona Julia.
Not I. I am life. I am strength. I am woman.
You belong to your husband, your master. Not I:
I belong to nobody or to all, for to all, to all
I give myself in my pure feelings and thoughts.
You curly your hair and paint your face. Not I:
I am curled by the wind, painted by the sun.
You are the lady of the house, resigned, submissive,
Tied to the bigotry of men. Not I:
I am Rocinante, bolting free, wildly
Snuffling the horizons of the justice of God.
Spanish; trans. Grace Schulman
Julia de Burgos, Spanish, trans. Grace Schulman, The Nation, October 9,