10.2.17

The Forgotten by Gonzalo Benito Merino



The Forgotten


The years pass and the dead pass
through mute pages of history.
Amnesia is not having little memory
rather morals of uncertain value.

The SS Sinaia never docked in port
but in the ocean of glory
she sank so their victory
would turn the oasis into desert.

On the way to arid lands
sleep bones of those who dreamed
of sowing light in the meadows

and pandering to generals
songs of sunstroke left
the forgotten ever forgotten.



Gonzalo Benito Merino
(Translation by Charles Olsen)


Translation of the poem Los olvidados by the Spanish poet Gonzalo Benito Merino. His was the winning poem in the 110th edition of Palabras Prestadas where poets had to create a poem using the five words from the Ó Bhéal Five Words Competition. You can read the poem, along with the other entries, in the original Spanish on Palabras Prestadas. The five words were the same used in the poem of the overall winner of the Five Words Competition, 2016, John W. Sexton. They were: port, option, ever, pander and bones, although in translation I have taken the liberty of changing some of the words.


About Ó Bhéal
Founded and directed by Paul Casey, Ó Bhéal is a celebration of poetry. Ó Bhéal is Irish for ‘by word of mouth’, or ‘from the mouth’. Since 2007 they organize a weekly poetry event in the bar The Hayloft in the city of Cork, Ireland, and this April celebrate their 10th anniversary. Each Monday the event opens with Five Word Challenge or McNamara Slam followed by guest poets and an open-mic session. They also organize the Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition and since 2013 the Five Words International Poetry Competiton.