From our old friendship
I never thought I’d ever remember again
How a whole tribe, such a strange group
To me and maybe no less strange to you,
But one of that tribe,
A professor and, according to him and others
Over there (which shows how far our land has fallen),
A poet, called you “my prince.”
And I ask myself what you ever did that he
Could have come to think of you as his prince.
Academic claptrap? His writings are full of clichés
And conventional thinking. But his rapturous rhetoric
Does nothing to clarify our understanding
Of the mystery in your work, even though he’s also called
A critic of our contemporary poetry.
The appropriation of you, which you wanted
Nothing to do with when you were alive,
Is what now seems to me so utterly strange.
The prince of a toad? Isn’t it enough
For your countrymen to have killed you?
And now stupidity succeeds the crime.
“Once More, with Feeling” — Luis Cernuda