You ask me, why my heart flies from the coast
back to Castile, to towering raw terrains,
why, near the sea, in fertile fields, I most
yearn to be back on high and barren plains.
No one chooses his love. It was my fate
that one day chose to send me to gray hills
where falling snows freeze and obliterate
the shadows of dead oaks – now winter still.
Out of that spur of Spain, rocky and high,
I bring you now, blooming Guadalquivir,
a sprig of rosemary, a pungent thorn,
My heart is living, yes, where it was born,
but not to life – to love, the Duero near,
the whitewashed wall and cypress in the sky!
About this poem
This poem, representing Spain, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.