First Published Translation

“…I’m sure it was a noble, / heavenly poet / heart made mature / by shadow and science.”

-Antonio Machado, “The Water Wheel”

By the time you read this, I will have just landed in London to begin a new chapter in my life. It seems fitting, as a celebration of my Americanness in the broadest sense of that word, that A River & Sound Review today published my new translation of Antonio Machado’s “The Water Wheel.” Like Umberto Saba’s “The Goat,” this poem takes up the sorrow of a domesticated animal as its topic.

I am sure that, if he were still alive, my poet-friend Sandford Lyne would have been pleased to hear this news. His poem “Machado, Lorca, Neruda, Jiménez” captures the sense of respect we both felt for the great Spanish-language poets. It took many years of writing my own poems in English for me to realize that I could combine my love of poetry with my knowledge of the Spanish language to bring new understanding of these poems to myself and others through translation.