Beatriz Villacañas is a poet, essayist, translator and literary critic. She holds a PhD in English philology and teaches English and Irish literature at the Complutense University of Madrid. Her father was Juan Antonio Villacañas, one of the greatest Spanish poets of the post-war period. She has published many books of poems and has won various literary prizes. For her poem, “Peace Calls Us” (newly translated below), she was named an International Cultural Ambassador on behalf of Spain by the International Chamber of Writers and Artists, CIESART, as well as an International Ambassador for Peace.
The translations that follow are by Krzysztof Sliwa, who is a biographer, documentalist, writer and Corresponding Academician of the Royal Academy of Cordoba, Corresponding Academician of the Royal Academy of Toledo and Member of Honor of the Sociedad Cervantina de Esquivias, Spain.
“God is the only example” [Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591)].
“The pen is the language of the soul” [Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)].
Peace Calls Us
Peace calls us, brothers, it invites us,
and opens for us the lights of its bridges,
on which we walk to find the sources
of a Good that heals every wound.
Although evil is winning the game,
let us not give up, let us be resilient.
May peace, justice and the good be the currents
to navigate in this life.
Let us open our eyes to Truth
and with its lucidity and its caress,
let us be a worthy humanity.
And in the face of lies and their malice
let us defend peace and truth:
And with them will come the good and justice.
Peace and Truth: Union
Truth in life is essential,
Truth is our need.
With truth we will have freedom,
and Peace will arrive wholesome and complete.
With truth, peace will be real and peace
will give us security, wholesome path to happiness.
Peace and Truth: vital union.
We must know truth delivers us from lies
and its betrayal and not let evil take its toll.
Peace and truth in our hearts will come
and give us good strength:
after crying, the song.
Praying in Hope
Jesus, in my soul I feel now
that You will come to save us from the one who lies.
In Your Love, I see and feel that Your bridge
leads us to the truth and to the dawn.
You give springtime to those who long for it:
for my thirst for You, You give me the spring
that your Permanent Presence flows in me,
with the Truth that saves and redeems.
You are, Jesus. Truth, Way and Life,
and I believe, Lord, for Thou sayest it,
Thou art the all-embracing Good.
May the Truth set the guidelines
and may lies be destroyed,
while You, Jesus Christ, bless us.
Your Word is so living, Father
that it gives light to the meadows,
gives color to the flowers,
makes the roots fruitful,
enlivens the fire of love,
opens the way
to the steps that yearn for transcendence,
makes my verses sprout.
You, at each of our steps, You teach us
that everything here is born
from the fruitful root of Your Word.
Each day opens a dialogue with You.
I thank You
because Your Word
is daily news of Love:
and Love, day after day,
gives us news of the eternal.
When Faith Came to Dwell In Me
Question after question I asked myself
and, without an answer, I spoke with doubt,
always searching for the naked Truth,
that would illuminate my life.
Poetry came to lend a hand.
With it, Dear God, You gave me Your help.
The faith that does not make mute penetrated me,
that which turns tears into joy.
Faith is a gift, also a workout,
an indispensable and persistent effort
to which Your Love gives great benefit.
Faith entered to dwell my ardent soul,
which thirsted for You from the beginning,
and, wanting to feel You, already feels You.
“Gain a heart of wisdom” (Proverbs 4:23).
Laus in excelsis Deo.
Featured: The Last Judgment, detail, by Fra Angelico; painted ca. 1435-1440.