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October 26, 1940 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-10-26

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Page Six



from GUERNICA... by Edwin Q. Burrows

it/e: Zite Lull
Oh, blanco muro de Espana!
Oh negro toro de penal
Lament has washed arenas with its rain
and evening sleeves are raised to catch the air.
Somewhere the toreadors are going home
with stained elaborate mantles on their shoulders;
somewhere fiesta pains the afternoon
and ears with flowers hear a pale guitar;
somewhere a dancer and a roving boy
lie folded in the gold and ardent fields.
But here lament pleads in the stillest hour:
a moon goes bumping up the charred arcades
and jackals bray. I do not want to see
the limping cricket puzzled at his echo
and night infringe with amber eyes the willow.
Deaf ears shall trace instead a clashing ring
+where bellowing companies are drenched with lust
and one lone bull breathes hunger in his corner.
When creaking wheels go nagging toward the borders
and guards allow the sunset poor to pass,
when over the belly of hills tomorrow's children
crawl on their ragged hands and streams condense
their pinched abandoned prayers, the bull remains.
Oh have you seen the flank that knocks at night
or kissed the horn? His eyes are dreaded hammers
that anvil in their stalls the sword ofSpain!
How many times the hissing stars remind
the edgeless headless banisters of houses
feet will not wrestle here with gravity
nor hands release the doorknobs to their latches!
Few will rebuild the thumbed utensils, few
double the moons that tagged our young decease,
or clattering through the vestibules of poems
set up the elder statues out of rain.
Across the docks of foreign states a handful
of the bewildered land like old and rival gulls,
storing against the hostile city-halls
and club-strong law their sacks of souvenirs,
unwelcome without medals, hooted to slums,
where lurk the native million alien eyes.
Shackled with mangy freedom in their cells
they hear their nimbleorphans clankinghome.
Sparrows at eaves indulge their city senses
and separate clocks yield twin-like grinning hours.
Tenses are two; the coming and the going.
Love answers to the price of rum and taxis.
But rhythms do not shape the rootless want
nor rifted lips employ the untongued dream.
In all the reeling ghettos west of Spain
the refugees are listening for his hooves.
His bellow will wilt the cough of planes, his roar
sting ruin from the choked and gnashing hosts
and iron will unwrap its ash, and steel
beam upward like a pharos to the hills.
The children are lost, the leaders of people trampled,
but in the empty seed-head leaps a wonder
and these immaculate walls of women groan
with loud and unpremeditated love.

Accumulated griefs are shouldered out,
the hands of sand are juggling copper tunes,
and the women smile their first and fearless smile
remembering in the wastes of Guernica,
when the wounded wept and the unhurt wept and the young
stared at the wreathing stars like ancient priests
concluding worlds beyond the outmost night,
how the lone bull calmed and curled them to his power.
Ponderously he traded for his features
thighs of the Grecian, muscle of the Goth,
till midnoon swayed with the grave delirium
and each neat girl was mastered in his image.
Today the. ravished half-dead pamper their hate,
armored with all the consciousness and pride
that were his gifts, and know beneath their pulses
that armies of Andalusia pitch their camps.
Give us this day a meaning more than words,
a cause for carnage other than rightful wars,
for we have grown the crib and beat the doors,
stand elegant to the excusers with our proof,
The. bull will lead the newborn into the towns,
the puppet sentries gored, the yachtsmen gutted;
beware the black bull in his metaphor
for marching dreams will challenge you with men.

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