“The Ship, Solid and Black”

By Juan Ramón Jiménez 1881–1958 Juan Ramon Jimenez

Translated By Robert Bly

The ship, solid and black,
enters the clear blackness
of the great harbor.
                              Quiet and cold.
                                           —The people waiting
are still asleep, dreaming,
and warm, far away and still stretched out in this   
dream, perhaps . . .

   How real our watch is, beside the dream
of doubt the others had! How sure it is, compared
to their troubled dream about us!
                                                 Quiet. Silence.
Silence which in breaking up at dawn
will speak differently.

Juan Ramón Jiménez, “‘The Ship, Solid and Black’” 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 Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, 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 Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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