Pepa Nieto, translated by Louis Bourne



Pepa Nieto (Outes, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain) haslived in Madrid for years, studied literature and sculpture, andpublished six books of poetry, among them, Como ceniza(“Like Ashes,” 2000, Antonio Oliver Belmás InternationalPoetry Award), and Tiempo inhabitable (“Unlivable Time,” 2011), plus two anthologies. She heads the “Arco Poético” poetry lecture series at the Retiro Public Library in Madrid.


Louis Bourne, Virginian poet, translator and Hispanist(Professor Emeritus, GCSU), edited The Carolina Quarterly,lived in Madrid 32 years, and translated books by VicenteAleixandre (Nobel, 1977), Maria V. Atencia, Rafael Bordao,Clara Janés, Justo Jorge Padrón, and Andrés Sánchez Robayna.He has published three books of poetry in Spanish,one in English, The Thought of Seeing.

Back to the Holm Oak


There’s so much that doesn’t remain.

So many moons that sometimes scared me.

And so much remained there, beside the holm oak.

If Nature is wise,

as they say,

if it once kept your face,

I am looking for you.

And though this cold freezes lips,

I call you,

I call and kiss the air.

I want to think that you are in this rain,

that I see your hand in every flower,

in the tree’s root,

on my weary foot.

I want to think you are in this stone,

and I touch it,

touch a name I can hardly read.

I spill a tear.

I go back to the holm oak.

I wait.  


Pepa Nieto

Vencida por septiembre

(“Defeated by September,” 1998)

© The Acentos Review 2020