Delmira Agustini – Nocturne

17 Jun

Delmira Agustini (1886-1914) was a very imaginative and prolific Uruguayan poetess who published her first poetry collection when she was a teenager and even though her short life ended abruptly, she was murdered by her jealous and possessive ex-husband who committed suicide right after that, she left a sea of poetry behind her, poem upon poem. She lived and wrote with burning passion and intensity and I get drunken on ecstasy and romance after reading her verses. The way she describes burning sensations of love truly chime with me and all the beautiful sensual imagery that her verses convey are delightful. Her poetry makes me think of sweet sticky honey, long hot days, ripe figs, intense scent of roses in a dusky garden, tossing and turning in one’s bed because the moon won’t let one sleep, bees buzzing over lavender… Today I am sharing her poem “Nocturne”. I love these lines so much:

Winter, I love you and I am the spring…
I blush, you snow:
Because you know it all,
Because I dream it all…

John Singer Sargent, Study for “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, 1885, oil on canvas, 72.4 x 49.5 cm

“We fall in a cluster of roses and lilies!”


Outside the night, dressed in tragedy, sighs
Like an enormous widow fastened to my windowpane.

My room…
By a wondrous miracle of light and fire
My room is a grotto of gold and precious gems:
With a moss so smooth, so deep its tapestries,
And it is vivid and hot, so sweet I believe
I am inside a heart…

My bed there in white, is white and vaporous
Like a flower of innocence.
Like the froth of vice!
This night brings insomnia;
There are black nights, black, which bring forth
One rose of sun…
On these black and clear nights I do not sleep.

And I love you, Winter!
I imagine you are old,
I imagine you are wise,
With a divine body of beating marble
Which drags the weight of Time like a regal cloak…

Winter, I love you and I am the spring…
I blush, you snow:
Because you know it all,
Because I dream it all…

We love each other like this!…
On my bed all in white,
So white and vaporous like the flower of innocence,
Like the froth of vice,
Winter, Winter, Winter,
We fall in a cluster of roses and lilies!

John Singer Sargent, Study for “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, 1885, oil on canvas, 59.7 x 49.5 cm

4 Responses to “Delmira Agustini – Nocturne”

  1. rhjbyron 17th Jun 2020 at 9:01 pm #

    Just beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rhjbyron 17th Jun 2020 at 9:07 pm #

    Winter is so pure and bleak
    Spring is like my soul defrosting
    Then over the pain warmed and drained by summer heat
    I fall back into decay and rebirth
    I am grateful that I know all four faces of the seasons
    Anywhere too extreme would remove reason

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tânia 25th Jun 2020 at 3:45 pm #

    I just love Delmira Agustini! Your post was beautiful too, it conveys so vividly the meaning of her poetry. I love how feminine, sensual and passionate her poems are, her imagery is so beautiful. Reading them is like sinking drowsily into a lovely dream.

    As I read the last few stanzas an image popped into my head of Winter and Spring finally embracing and in the joy of consummating their relationship, their bodies dissolving into countless roses and lillies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byron's Muse 27th Jun 2020 at 4:20 pm #

      “Sinking drowsily into a lovely dream”, I love that sentence, so true of her poetry! That’s a lovely imagery that came to your mind, it’s wonderful when a few verses of poetry can convey so much imagery, the scents, the sounds, the colours, the power of words.


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