The Good Angel

Rafael Alberti
translated by
John Murillo

One year, already asleep,

someone I did not expect

stood at my window.

Get up! And my eyes

saw plumes and swords.

Behind those, mountains and seas,

clouds, beaks, and wings.

Sunsets, sunrises.

Look at her there! Her dream,

hanging from nothing.

Oh desire, fixed marble,

steady light, steady streaming waters

of my soul!

Someone said: Get up!

And I found myself in your room.

Rafael Alberti (1902–1999) was the author of several collections of poetry. His most well-known, Sobre Los Angeles (Concerning the Angels), first published in 1929, is forthcoming in English translation from Four Way Books. His many honors include the Premio Cervantes and the America Award.
John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections Up Jump the Boogie and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, winner of the 2021 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He is an associate professor of English at Wesleyan University.
Originally published:
December 6, 2023

Featured

Books

Life in the Algorithm

It has reshaped culture—but how? Two new books reckon with our digital predicament.
Anna Shechtman

The Night Watch

I first sought sanctuary during the Troubles. I'm still looking for it.
Darran Anderson

Why I Write

The legendary cultural critic on finding a life’s work
Greil Marcus

You Might Also Like

Egress

Gilad Jaffe

Equinox

Leila Chatti