Featured poet: Gastón Carrasco

Gastón Carrasco Aguilar (Santiago, 1988) has written Monstruos marinos [Sea Monsters] (2017), Viewmaster (2011; second edition, 2016), El instante no es decisivo [The Moment Isn’t Decisive] (2014) and the plaquette La soledad del francotirador [The Loneliness of the Sniper] (2016).

Image: The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai, woodcut, 1831.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

How many ways can one paint the sea?
you ask me, as your eyes
follow the movement of the waves.

The barge with living fish
seems the belly of a pelican.

Thirty men at the mercy
of a furious wave that is also a claw.

The spiral or curvature wraps round
the sailors, shelters them.

Your feet are lost in the foam.
It is a white skeleton, you tell me,
the wave is a ghost of death
pursuing the damned sailors.

How much blue can fit in a square?
you ask me, as the light
of the sun gleams in the sea.

The great wave is a white dragon
and the small ones form hills,
fleeting copies of Fuji.

— translated by Jessica Sequeira