The Name Drawn from the Names

By Juan Ramón Jiménez 1881–1958 Juan Ramon Jimenez

Translated By Robert Bly

If I have created a world for you, in your place,
god, you had to come to it confident,
and you have come to it, to my refuge,
because my whole world was nothing but my hope.

   I have been saving up my hope
in language, in a spoken name, a written name;
I had given a name to everything,
and you have taken the place
of all these names.

   Now I can hold back my movement
inside the coal of my continual living and being,
as the flame reins itself back inside the red coal,
surrounded by air that is all blue fire;
now I am my own sea that has been suddenly stopped somewhere,
the sea I used to speak of, but not heavy,
stiffened into waves of an awareness filled with light,
and all of them moving upward, upward.

   All the names that I gave
to the universe that I created again for you
are now all turning into one name, into one
god.

   The god who, in the end, is always
the god created and recreated and recreated
through grace and never through force.
The God. The name drawn from the names.

Juan Ramón Jiménez, “The Name Drawn from the Names” 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

POET’S REGION Spain

Subjects Religion, God & the Divine

 Juan Ramón  Jiménez

Biography

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION Spain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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