Friday, December 13, 2013


No siento del amor la honda tortura
cuando contemplo con tenaz fijeza
la rara perfección de su cabeza
y su cuerpo de helénica escultura.
Como imprimiendo a su gentil figura
sello de augusta y varonil nobleza,
en su mirar de fúlgida limpieza
la luz del pensamiento no fulgura.
Al contemplarlo sin afán ni anhelo
de un artista inmortal digno modelo,
su belleza magnífica que encanta
sólo en mi alma a despertar acierta
la admiración tranquila que despierta
la belleza del bruto o de la plata.

— Nieves Xenes

Nieves Xenes (1859-1915) was a Cuban poet who began writing poetry at the tender age of 16. Though her poems were widely read in various Cuban newspapers and periodicals it was not until her death that her poetry was published in book form.

Written in 1899, Anonymous describes Nieves Xenes' thoughts as she gazes upon a statue. It is worth considering when reading this poem that Xenes never married. It is said that the one true love of her life, Joseph A. Cortina, was already married. Her unrequited love died with him in 1884.


I do not feel the tortured depths of love
when I obsessively think about
the divine perfection of your head
and of your sculptured Greek body.
Your gentle figure is like a fine print
stamped with dignity and virile nobility,
the clarity of your glowing presence
obscures thoughts that do not shine through.
To contemplate without desire or longing,
this worthy model of the immortal artist,
your magnificent beauty that enchants,
that hits the essence that arouses my soul
the quiet adoration that is sparked
by the beauty of the brute or of silver.

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