Rafael Alberti

po_Alberti-Raphael2Rafael Alberti Merello (December 16 1902 – October 28 1999) was a Spanish poet, a member of the Generation of ’27.

Alberti published his first books of poetry towards the end of the 1920s: Marinero en tierra (‘Sailor on Dry Land’, 1925), La Amante (‘The Mistress’, 1926) and El alba del alhelí (‘The Dawn of the Wallflower’, 1927).


THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL ANGELS
Rafael Alberti

None of us understood the night secret of the blackboards
nor why the armillary sphere got excited only when we looked at it.
We only knew that a circumference doesn’t have to be round
and that a lunar eclipse confuses flowers
and sets the birds ahead.

None of us understood anything:
not why our fingers were of India ink
nor why the evening closed compasses to open books at dawn.
We only knew that something straight, if it wants, can be curved or broken
and that the wandering stars are children who don’t know arithmetic.