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Alberti: Lullaby of the Turtle January 1, 2013

Posted by cantueso in poetry, Spain.
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alberti-22

Green,
Slow,
The turtle

Already dispatched its parsley,
Its leaf of lettuce.

Into the water with you ;
it’s spilling over !

Into the water,
You duck !

And don’t we have a good time, the boy and I,
watching the little turtle

Swimming –
Dumb and alone.
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rafael-alberti original Spanish:

Verde, lenta, la tortuga

¡Ya se comió el perejil,
la hojita de la lechuga!

¡Al agua, que el baño está
rebosando!

¡Al agua,
pato!

Y sí que nos gusta a mí
y al niño ver la tortuga
tontita y sola nadando.

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It’s a great little poem, for it has this in common with great verse elsewhere : that it seems to mean almost nothing, and yet you won’t easily forget it.

So it comes in handy to show that great poetry is not necessarily about deep inner tensions and revelations.
Proust said it was more like inner sunrises.

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Alberti was from a pueblo next to Cádiz, Spain.
He was born on 16 December 1902, and he died on 28 October 1999.

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Cadiz at night

Cadiz is built all around its port and stretches way out into the ocean. It has become the surfers’ paradise.

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Cadiz at sunset photographed by JuanJaén is under a CC license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cadiz06.jpg. — The photo of Cadiz seen from the sky at night is by Juanjo in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gades.jpg. The photo below is by Mdf under a CC license at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Bucephala-albeola-010.jpg

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Cadiz is now famous among surfers.
It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world.


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