[When from my counted days]

By Roberto Tejada b. 1964 Roberto Tejada
When from my counted days I think of
times still owed to me by tyrant love,
and my temples anticipate a frost
beyond the tribulation of my years
I see love’s counterfeit joys are a poison
reason sips from a glass raised
to those for whom hunger dare appear
in the guise of my honeyed daydream.
What potion of forgetting pleases
reason that by neglect of its duty
so toils against itself for satisfaction?
But my affliction seeks solace, measure
of the desire to be remedied and
the desire to overcome it love’s remedy


Cuando imagino de mis breves días
los muchos que el tirano amor me debe
y en mi cabello anticipar la nieve,
más que en los años las tristezas mías,

veo que son sus falsas alegrías
veneno que en cristal la razón bebe
por quien el apetito se le atreve
vestido de mis dulces fantasías.

¿Qué hierbas del olvido ha dado el gusto
a la razón, que sin hacer su oficio
quiere contra razón satisfacelle?

Mas consolarse qiere mi disgust,
que es el deseo del remedio indicio,
y el remedio de amor, querer vencelle.

[Lope de Vega, 1562—1635]

Roberto Tejada, “[When from my counted days]” from Exposition Park. Copyright © 2010 by Roberto Tejada. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Exposition Park (Wesleyan University Press, 2010)

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Poet Roberto Tejada b. 1964

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Relationships, Love

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Roberto  Tejada


An art historian, curator, and editor specializing in Latino and Latin American art, Roberto Tejada was born in Los Angeles. He earned a BA in comparative literature from New York University and a PhD in interdisciplinary media studies from the English Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks Gift & Verdict (1999) and Amulet Anatomy (2001) as well as the full-length . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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