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John Howard Reid

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The Lost Caress by Alfonsina Storni
by John Howard Reid

Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by John Howard Reid
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"The Lost Caress", translated from the Spanish of Alfonsina Storni, is one of over a hundred famous poems featured in the book, "A SALUTE TO SPANISH POETRY: 100 MASTERPIECES FROM SPAIN AND LATIN AMERICA RENDERED INTO ENGLISH VERSE BY JOHN HOWARD REID".


The Lost Caress


translated from the Spanish of Alfonsina Storni



Your caress slips through my fingers,

your caress, aimless, without force or feeling,

it slips through my fingers as it rolls into the wind.


Your caress wanders off with no aim, nor any future.

Who will find and rescue a lost caress?


I could love someone tonight with such infinite compassion.

Yes, I could love the very first man I meet.

But no-one comes.

I face the future with loneliness in the flowering paths

where the lost caress will roll, and roll, and roll…


Traveler, if in the wind I call you tonight,

if you hear a gentle sigh quivering in the boughs,

don’t be alarmed in the scattering of the wind

if a small, feminine hand grips your fingers,

holding you, letting go; finding you, losing you.


If you don’t see that hand or feel my kissing lips,

if my call means nothing but an illusion in the wind,

oh, traveler with the light blue eyes,

how will you recognize me?   

John Howard Reid

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Reviewed by Ruben Campos 4/27/2012
A beutiful poem by Alfonsina Storni, terrible translated by John Howard Reid.
Here is a far better translation:


Aimless caresses slip from my fingers,
slip from my fingers... caught in the passing wind,
caresses that wander without destiny or purpose,
caresses I have lost, who gathers them up?

I could have loved tonight with infinite piety,
I could have loved the first man who happened to come.
No one comes. The flowered path is empty.
Caresses that are lost, wander on… wander on

If your eyes are kissed tonight, wanderer,
if the branches shiver as a sweet sigh passes by,
if a small hand gently presses your fingers
a hold that brushes as it goes, touching deep, and then gone.

If that hand is unseen, and the mouth that kisses you,
if it is the wind weaving the illusion of a kiss
oh, wanderer, with eyes like the sky,
melted into this wind, would you recognize me?

Alfonsina Storni

Translated by Lisa Campos
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