León de Greiff

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León de Greiff Biography

Francisco de Asís León Bogislao de Greiff Haeusler (July 22, 1895 – July 11, 1976), was a Colombian poet known for his stylistic innovations and deliberately eclectic use of obscure lexicon. Best known simply as León de Greiff, he often used different pen names. The most popular were Leo le Gris and Gaspar de Nuit. De Greiff was one of the founders ...

León de Greiff Poems

1.
Canción Nocturna

In your hair is the perfume of the night,
in your eyes the thunderous light of a storm.
The taste of the night trembles on your tongue.
My heart is nailed into the black ebony night.
...

2.
This Rose Was A Witness

Of this, that if this was not love
No other love could be.
This rose was a witness
From when you gave yourself to me!
...

3.
For If Love Fled, If Love It Was...

For if love fled, if love it was...
let love go and go with the grief,
and embrace life with a clear head and open arms,
and cry a little bit for what was...
...

4.
RELATO DE CLAUDIO MONTEFLAVO

A Rafael Vásquez


Como llegamos a la venta
- desde donde, a lo hondo, se oye el río -
desmontamos de las cabalgaduras:
en las piedras cantaron los espolines
canción de estrellas teñidas de sangre . . .

- Ah de la venta! ah de la venta!
Cantaron nuestros vozarrones.

Luego cantaron canción de burbujas
y de cristales, las copas traslúcidas.
E inquirimos por el tesoro de la venta serrana:

- "Ya se irá, ya se va, si no se ha ido . . . ".

En la venta se cruzan vientos duros
- la venta, en la garganta de la sierra desnuda -.
Cantaba el viento, cantaba el viento.
Allá en el fondo, a lo hondo, la línea del río
y el treno del río.

Luego de la canción de las burbujas
cantó el fuego en las piedras del hogar.
Cantaba la sangre peán de lujuria.
Más tarde iban cantando las estrellas
vigías, su silenciosa música.
Y rezongaban preces las viejas de la venta . . .
Tornamos a inquirir:
- ¿dónde está María-Luz, de los besos de moras?

"Ya se irá, ya se va, si no se ha ido . . . ".

Y volvimos a las cabalgaduras piafantes.
La Cruz del Sur en la linde del monte y el cielo.
Cantó el hierro en los cantos redondos.
Callados iniciamos el descenso
por el camino en caracoles y en escalas;
por el camino en lumbre tamizada de violetas;
por el camino en perfumes del viento que susurra;
por el camino en perfumes ásperos del monte;
por el camino en músicas de las aguas dormidas
y de las aguas que se despeñan

De su prisión de vidrio verde
saltó el claro cristal: gorjear de burbujas
y del perfume del anís montañero.


Íbamos silenciosos. Cada cual dialogaba tácitamente
con su amigo de vidrio.
Mas uno de nosotros - el viandante de la barba taheña -
cantó, cantó (que taladró la noche
con su voz recia) El Rey de los Alisos
malamente . . . E inquirió con voz más ruda:
- ¿qué se haría el tesoro de la venta?

- "Ya se irá, ya se va, si no se ha ido . . . ".

Tornó a cantar la voz de las burbujas
y del claro cristal . . . Y al río, al fin, llegamos . . .
- ¿Si Nuño Ansúrez no nos pasa en la barca . . . ?
- Bah! Da lo mismo!
- Bah! Da lo mismo!
Nueva canción de vidrio y de burbujas
y fresco trasegar diamantes vívidos.
Media noche. En las márgenes del río
qué limpia media noche!
Esta es la selva
de múrice y de oro!
Esta es la abierta vida innúmera!

- ¿Y qué se haría el tesoro de la venta?
- ¿Dónde está María-Luz, de ojos de hulla,
de melena de hulla, y boca sombreada . . . ?

- "Ya se irá, ya se va, si no se ha ido . . . ".


Netupiromba. Noviembre 17, 1931.
...

5.
THE TALE OF CLAUDIUS MONTEFLAVO

To Rafael Vásquez


As we got to the road-side inn
- from where, down below, the river's song is heard -
we alighted from the steeds
and the tinkling of goad-spurs and pebbles
sang a song of bloody stars.

- Hail-ho, the inn keeper!

rang out the husky voices.

And then the bubbles sang
their crystal-clear note's of the translucent glass,
and we asked for the Treasure in that mountain-side inn kept:

"Bye and bye it shall be going, it is going, it is going, if not gone yet . . . ".

That inn is a cross-roads of haily winds
- that inn, in a deep gorge in the nakedness of the sierra -
the wind singing the song of the Winds
and down below, deep down, the river's ribbon
and the river's lament.

And then, after the bubbles musical elation,
Amid the hearth-stones the fire sang its lay,
the rushing blood its lusty paean.
Later, the stars on their watch
silently poured their melody
while hostelry hags grumbled their prayers.
And we questioned again:
- where is she, Maria-Luz, she of the full, berry lips?

"Bye and bye she shall be going, now she's going, if she's not yet gone".

And we went back to the stamping steeds.
The Southern Cross on the limit of mount and sky,
Clash of steel against rounded-out flint,
silently we began climbing down
the rough trail and its winding steps,
the trail under star-light sifted through violets,
the trail under the scented and whispering breezes,
the trail amid the harsh twang of the wood-land,
the trail amid the music of quiescent waters
and the rushing and falling streams.

From its greenish glassy prison
gushed forth the crystal liquid
in a trilling of bubbles
and perfume of aniseed moonshine.

All of us rode in silence, each one in tacit dialogue
with his friend of glass
But one of us - that rider of flaming red beard -
sang out, rang out with powerful accents that bore through the blackness
The King of the Alders,
quite improperly . . . and asked in thundering voice:
- What has happened, prithee, to the road-side inn's treasure?

"Bye and bye she shall go, now she's going, if she's not yet gone".

And again it was heard the lilt of the bubbles
and the transparent glass . . . And a last we were at the river's brink.
-It may be that Nuño Ansúrez won't take us across in his ferry?
- Pish', it won't matter!
Pish', it won't matter!

And again issued forth song of the bubbles and glasses
and a gurgling of living gems.
It was mid-night! By the river's brink,
what a limpid mid-night! - This is the forest
of murex and gold!

This, the open, innumerable life!

And what about the Treasure of the inn?
- Where is now Maria-Luz, she of the coal-black eyes,
the coal-black locks and downy lips?

"Bye and bye she shall be going, now she's going, if she's not yet gone".


Netupiromba. November 17th, 1931.
...

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