Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019


Por la oscurana cunde
la balsamina.
               Olorosas y blancas, las flores
               del floripondio.
                    Más allacito
del mangal, el río.
La luna por el turbión del sueño,
la miel de los guineos.

No moriré del todo.


translated from the Spanish by
Michelle Har Kim

Spreading in the dark
the rose balsam.
               Fragrant and white, lillies
               of the valley.
                    Further out
past the mango trees, the river.
The moon across sleep’s deluge,
the honey of exquisite bananas.

I won’t die at all.

Described by critics as one of Bolivia’s greatest poets, the repertoire of author, journalist, and scholar Pedro Shimose Kawamura (1940–) includes an array of genres, from his acclaimed verses, to his short stories, textbooks, and musical work. Born in Riberalta, Bolivia, he has lived as an expatriate in Madrid since 1971. The 1972 recipient of the Casa de las Américas Prize for the book of poems Quiero escribir, pero me sale espuma, and the Premio Nacional de Novela in 1999, Shimose been rendered into over ten languages. His original volumes of poetry also include, among others, Caducidad del fuego (1975), Reflexiones maquiavélicas (1980), Bolero de caballería (1985), Riberalta y otros poemas (1996), and No te lo vas a creer (2000).

Michelle Har Kim lives in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles. She is a 2016 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and has translated poems by José Watanabe for Guernica, Epiphany, and the Asian American Literary Review.