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PRINT January 1984

IN THE HEART OF THE TINMAN: AN ESSAY ON JOHN CHAMBERLAIN

. . . las plantas leves

de tres sueltos zagales

la distancia sincopan tan iguales,

que la atención confunden judiciosa.

De la Peneida virgen desdeñosa,

los dulces fugitivos miembros bellos

en la corteza no abrazó, reciente,

más firme Apolo, más estrechamente,

que de una y otra meta gloriosa

las duras basas abrazaron ellos

con triplicado nudo.

—————————

( . . . with light-footed ease

Three mountain shepherds ran,

Abridging in such equal time the span

As baffled those who watched most warily.

Apollo clasped not with such urgency

Peneus’ scornful maid, whom he embraced

Just as the flying limbs which he pursued

From fair soft flesh changed to unyielding wood,

As when they reached their noble goal, the three

Clasped one or other stubborn trunk, in haste

Their triple knot to tie.)

——Luis de Góngora, “Soledad Primera,”

trans. by Gilbert F. Cunningham

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