I Took Off Petal After Petal

by Juan Ramón Jiménez.  Translated by Robert Bly.

I took off petal after petal, as if you were a rose,
in order to see your soul,
and I didn't see it.

    However, everything around-
horizons of fields and oceans-
everything, even what was infinite,
was filled with a perfume,
immense and living.  

Te dehojé, como una rosa,
para verte tu alma,
y no la vi.

    Mas todo en torno
--horizontes de tierras y de mares--,
todo, hasta el infinito,
se colmó de una esencia
inmensa y viva.

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