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Written by Antonio Rivero Taravillo and translated by Lawrence Schimel. Read the original in Spanish.

After attending a lecture

on Scandinavian skaldic poetry, scowling

I have sat down to dine alone, taciturn,

and I ordered, just because, Norwegian salmon

and Danish beer. Iceland lies

very close to this table tonight.

My sadness

is like that treeless island today;

like its winter or its night, my soul.


(Diners watch me from other tables

perplexed that I set down symbols

on a paper that they know is not the bill

nor the credit card receipt:


I am a barbarian here, I speak in poetry,

that dead language which no one understands any more.)

Antonio Rivero Taravillo is a Spanish poet, novelist, critic, award-winning biographer and translator of Yeats, Hopkins, Milton, or Shakespeare. His latest poetry collection is El bosque sin regreso (2016). His biography of Juan Eduardo Cirlot was also published in 2016. His new translations of Poe and Donne are due in two anthologies in 2017.
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