Rafael Alberti Merello (Born 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).
THEY’VE UPROOTED A TREE
They’ve uprooted a tree. Only this morning
the wind, the sun and all the birds still
were simply kissing it. It was
happy and young, frank and straight,
with a clear, heavenly calling,
and a high starry future.
This afternoon, it lies like a child
dug from the cradle, the sweet
legs broken, the head sunk,
sprawled sadly on the ground,
a ruin in leaves,
in grief still green, in grief.
Tonight I’ll go out—when no one
is watching, when it’s all alone—
and close its eyes and sing for it
the same song the passing wind
whispered to it this morning.