Night Piece

By Juan Ramón Jiménez 1881–1958 Juan Ramon Jimenez

Translated By Robert Bly

February 3rd

The sea with no waves we recognize,
with no stations on its route,
only water and moon, night after night!

   My thought goes back to the land,   
someone else’s land, belonging to the one
going through it on trains at night,   
through the same place at the same hour
as before . . .

                        Remote mother,
sleeping earth,   
powerful and faithful arms,   
the same quiet lap for all
—tomb of eternal life
with the same decorations freshened—
earth, mother, always
true to yourself, waiting for
the sad gaze
of the wandering eyes!

   My thought goes back to the land,   
—the olive groves at sunrise—
outlined sharply in the white   
or golden or yellow moonlight,   
that look forward to the coming back   
of those humans who are neither its slaves nor its masters,
but who love it anyway . . .

Juan Ramón Jiménez, “Night Piece” from Lorca and Jiménez: Selected Poems. Translation copyright © 1973 by Robert Bly. Reprinted with the permission of Beacon Press.

Source: Lorca and Jimenez: Selected Poems (Beacon Press, 1973)

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Poet Juan Ramón Jiménez 1881–1958


Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Juan Ramón  Jiménez


A prolific Spanish poet, editor, and critic, Juan Ramón Jiménez won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1956. He was born in Moguer i Andalusia, an area that he depicted in Platero y Yo (Platero and I, 1914) a collection of prose poems about a man and his donkey. Jiménez’s other books of poetry include Elejías puras (Pure Elegies, 1908), La soledad sonora (Sonorous Solitude, 1911), Poesía (Poetry, 1923), and Belleza (Beauty, . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Seas, Rivers, & Streams


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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