Historical Latin Americans: Poet Jose Angel Buesa

By Victoria Cepeda

While dusting my book shelf, I bumped into a little book of poetry that I have had since I was teenager. It was “Oasis” (Havana, 1943) by one of my all time favorite poets  Jose Angel Buesa.


Born in Las Cruces, Cuba in 1910 and died in exile in the Dominican Republic in 1982.

Buesa was a melancholic, prolific and precocious poet that penned unforgettable verses. A master and skillful weaver of words that “desgarran el alma” or that tear at your soul. I leave you with a sample of his work. I took the liberty of translating this poem into English. Therefore, I ask all my bilingual peers, to not hesitate to offer alternate words to the ones that I have chosen if they provide a closer translation to the original poem.


Poema De La Despedida

Te digo adiós si acaso te quiero todavía
Quizas no he de olvidarte… Pero te digo adiós
No se si me quisiste… No se si te quería
O tal vez nos quisimos demasiado los dos.

Este cariño triste y apasionado y loco
Me lo sembré en el alma para quererte a tí.
No se si te amé mucho… No se si te amé poco,
Pero si sé que nunca volvere a amar así.

Me queda tu sonrisa dormida en mi recuerdo
Y el corazón me dice que no te olvidaré.
Pero al quedarme solo… Sabiendo que te pierdo,
Tal vez empiezo a amarte como jamás te amé.

Te digo adiós y acaso con esta despedida
Mi más hermoso sueño muere dentro de mí.
Pero te digo adiós para toda la vida,
Aunque toda la vida siga pensando en tí. 



The Farewell Poem

Farewell though I love you still

Perhaps I will never forget you,  but farewell I shall say

I dont’ know if you ever loved me…I don’t know if I ever loved you

Or, perhaps, we loved each other too much.

This passionate, sad and crazy love

That I planted in my soul to love you

But alone I stay, knowing that I lose you

Perhaps I am starting to love you like I never did before.

I say goodbye and maybe with this farewell

My most beautiful dream dies within me

For I say farewell for the rest of my life

Although the rest of my live I will continue to think of you.



2 Responses to “Historical Latin Americans: Poet Jose Angel Buesa”

  1. A passionate poem, loved it.

  2. It is a beautiful poem, my Dad’s favorite poem, but, please revise your translation as I do believe you missed an entire section of the poem. I too have taken the liberty of translating it, here you go.

    I say farewell in case I still love you
    Perhaps I shouldn’t forget you… But I say farewell
    I don’t know if you loved me… don’t know if I loved you
    Or perhaps we loved each other too much.

    This sad and passionate and crazy love
    Which I planted in my soul to love you.
    Don’t know if I loved you too much… don’t know if I loved you too little,
    But I do know that I will never love this way again.

    I still have your smile asleep in my memory
    And a heart that tells me that I will never forget you.
    But as I remain alone… knowing that I lose you,
    Perhaps I’m starting to love you as I had never loved you.

    I say farewell and perhaps with this farewell
    My most beautiful dream dies within me.
    But I say farewell for all my life,
    Although I will continue to think of you throughout my life.

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