Ego Sum

By de Brito, Mark | Afro - Hispanic Review, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Ego Sum


de Brito, Mark, Afro - Hispanic Review


Ego sum

Ni tez de nacar, ni cabellos de oro vereis omar de galas mi figura; ni la luz del zafir, celeste y pura, vereis que en mis pupilas atesoro.

Con piel tostada de atezado moro; con ojos negros de fatal negrura, del Ancon a lafalda verde oscura naci frente al Pacifico sonoro.

Soy un hijo del Mar... Parque en mi alma hay, -como sobre el mar,- noches de calma, indefinibles coleras sin nombre

y un afan de luchar conmigo mismo, cuando en penas reconditas me abismo pienso que soy un mar trocado en hombre!

No pearly skin nor hair of golden flax adorns my countenance as if it shone; no sapphire's light, celestial-blue and wan is kept inside my pupils' treasure-sacks;

for I was born with skin of Moorish blacks, eyes dark as blackness' fate itself, upon the lush and dark green hillside of Ancon, into whose shore the loud Pacific smacks.

I am the sea's true child, because within my soul, just as at sea, there is a din, a rage (or nights of calm), too deep to scan: struggle of self at self-destruction's brink. When into hidden depths of pain I sink, it seems to me I am a sea made man.

Gaspar Octavio Hernandez (1893-1918) was born in Santa Ana, Panama City. Orphaned of both parents, his first jobs as a youngster were as a messenger for a hotel and as a cleaner. …

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