Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

Meira del Mar (Colombia, 1922)

Death in Venice

Death, in Venice,
they take on a trip
like a bride.

Between two blues
the mournful gondola
                                  glides,
covered by slow velvets,
and you hardly perceive
                                  the light thud
of one dip of the oar and then another.

Slowly, follows,
like a floating garden,
the one carrying the farewell
                                   made of roses
of the friends. And the mourners close
                                  the cortège,
that is lost in the sea.
Accompanying them,
with a finger on its lips,
silence. Not far off the islands waits. Behind the rosy wall
                                  that encloses it,
cypresses ascend, tall
                                   and dark.

(October, 1999)

Meira del Mar (Olga Chams Eljach), was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, in 1922. She studied music in the Conservatory Pedro Biava of the University of Atlántico and History of Art and Literature in Rome, Italy. The University of Atlántico granted him the Doctorate Honoris Causa in literature. She received the Simón Bolívar Medal of the Ministry of Education; the Medal of Colcultura; and the Medal Puerta de Oro of the Governorship of Atlántico. In 1995 she received the National Prize of Poetry for Recognition from the University of Antioquia. Member of the Colombian Academy of Language, since 1989. She directed during thirty six years the Departmental Public Library that has its name before her. Published works: Alba del Olvido, 1942; Sitio del Amor, 1944; Verdad del Sueño, 1946; Secreta Isla, 1951; Reencuentro, 1981; Laúd Memorioso, 1995; Alguien Pasa, 1998. Her poetry has been published in numerous Colombian, Hispanic-American collective anthologies as well as in some particular ones such as as Huésped Sin Sombra, 1971; and Poesía, 1962, Spanish-Italian bilingual edition printed in Siena, Italy.
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