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Syndic Literary Journal

Paradise Lost

Written by August Bover

Translated from the Catalan by Kristine Doll

Narrated by Kristine Doll



With trembling hand,              we closed the door today

for the last time                      and delivered the key.

One hundred years                  remain behind us now

and forever.                            Walls and windows,

great rooms in which             we grew up together

-the large flat roof                  with views to a blue sea

and the Tres Creus,                 in front of the hill-,

places for games,                    for holiday repasts,

intimate coat                           of pleasure and sorrow,

chambers and beds                 in which the elders died …

We won’t return                     to sit on the stone bench 

in that garden                          that was our paradise

where the blackbirds             serenaded at dusk,

nor winter’s sun                      that woke the mimosa

nor summer nights                  that sighed of festivals

and their perfumed                scent of orange blossoms.

Never will we                         descend the old staircase

leading down to                      the street we once called ours

overflowing                            with the emptiness of absence.



AUGUST BOVER is Professor Emeritus of Catalan Philology at the University of Barcelona and a member of the Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC), the Academy of Catalan Language. As a poet, and frequently in collaboration with other artists – photographers, musicians, painters – he has published the following books of poetry:  En pèlag d’amor (1999), L’hivern sota el Cadí (2001), Mojave (2006), Terres de llicorella. Imatges del Priorat (2008), Cloc! (2011), Beabà (2014), Blau marí (2018), Tornaveu (2019), El contagi (2021), and has been translated into English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Occitan, and Spanish. With soprano-cellist Eulàlia Ara, Bover has created Taller de Vora Mar, that produces poetic musicals based on his poems:  Cloc! i altres sons –with music by Manuel Garcia Morante- and Beabà, in production. In prose, he has published the diary Dotze llunes a Saskatchewan. Impressions des de la Gran Praderia canadenca (2013), and the collection of anecdotes Tutti frutti (2021).
Kristine Doll is a poet and translator whose work has been published internationally. “My Friends” from her first collection Speak to Me Again was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. Doll’s translations include poetry and memoir in Catalan, English and Spanish.  She is professor of World Languages and Cultures at Salem State University, Salem, MA, USA.


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