Las hijas de Ran

Poem by Juana Borrero, 1878-1896, Cuba. English translation by Liz Henry.

Las hijas de Ran

Envueltas entre espumas diamantinas
que salpican sus cuerpos sonrosados,
por los rayos del sol iluminados,
surgen del mar en grupo las ondinas.
Cubriendo sus espaldas peregrinas
descienden los cabellos destrenzados,
y al rumor de las olas van mezclados
los ecos de sus risas argentinas.
Así viven contentas y dichosas
entre el cielo y el mar, regocijadas,
ignorando tal vez que son hermosas,
Y que las olas, entre sí rivales,
se entrechocan, de espumas coronadas,
por estrechar sus formas virginales.

Ran’s daughters

Wrapped in diamantine froth
that flecks their blushing bodies
glowing with the rays of the sun,
the undines rise, gathered in a group.
Covering their far-ranging shoulders
their unfastened hair tumbles down,
and to the clamor of the waves they mix
the echoes of their silvery laughter.
Thus they live content and fortunate
between sky and sea, rejoicing,
perhaps ignoring that they’re beautiful.
And how the waves, contesting with each other,
crash and twine, crowned with shining foam,
stretching out, defining their virgin forms.

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