Amor Oscuro

Is Spanish the language of darkest love or is it French? Today I vote for Spanish. And to prove my point: a little bit of Francisco X. Alarcón’s DE AMOR OSCURO (Of Dark Love)—sonnets in the Neruda tradition. Alarcón writes in Spanish (this poem translated in to English by Francisco Aragón). Of course Clément wanted to translate for the post. Thankfully, we did not let him, so the translation is beautifully done.


para este amor nunca ha habido sol,
como loca flor, en lo oscuro brota,
es, a la vez, corona de espinas y
guirnalda de primavera en la sien

fuego, herida y amarguísimo fruto,
pero también brisa y manantial,
una mordida al alma: tu aliento,
un tronco en la corriente: tu pecho

hazme caminar sobre el agua turbia,
sé el hacha que rompa este candado,
el rocío que haga llorar los árboles

si mudo quedo al besar tus muslos
es que mi corazón con afán busca
entre tu carne un nuevo amanecer


there has never been sunlight for this love
like a crazed flower it buds in the dark,
is at once a crown of thorns and
a spring garland around the temples

a fire, a wounds, the bitterest fruit,
but a breeze as well, a source of water,
your breath—a bite to the soul,
your chest—a tree trunk in the current

make me walk on the turbid waters,
be the ax that breaks this lock,
the dew that weeps from trees

if I become kissing your thighs,
it’s that my heart eagerly
searches your flesh for a new dawn

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/the Daily Slice

photo by Lowry McFerrin, courtesy of Lowry McFerrin

  • Francisco Alarcon

    Thank you for posting the poem. Best greetings, Francisco Alarcón

  • Deliciously dark. Mmmmm.

  • Colleen McFerrin

    Beautiful. Passionate. Truth.