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Image by Caroline Forbes

Crossing at Miravet

Jane Duran


Crossing at Miravet

Jane Duran


Poem introduction

The battle of the Ebro was the last ditch effort of the Republicans to turn the inexorable tide of this war. The Republicans attacked along the River Ebro crossing in the night in July 1938 and they were defeated in a battle that lasted over three months at great human cost. This next poem has two lines from a Spanish song, and the lines say "Al alba venid buen amigo. / Venid a la luz del dia." which means "Come to the dawn good friend / come to the light of day"

Crossing at Miravet

Crossing at Miravet, 1938

The houses rise up before me unexpectedly.
I can finally see the valley

and the strenuous glimmer that is the Ebro.
A ferry under the poplars, no ferryman.
There is a changing distance to cover.

I listen to the poplars
while I am waiting for the ferry
and look across at the climbed streets

and abandoning houses.
My father sings at the piano.
He closes his eyes.

Al alba venid buen amigo.
Venid a la luz del dia.
I am patient till dawn when the soldiers

will enter the Ebro to cross to Miravet
holding their rifles high above the water.


from Silences from the Spanish Civil War (Enitharmon, 2002), © Jane Duran 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Jane Duran Reading from her poems

1Braided Rug

2Returning

3Time Zones

4River

5Stillborn

6Miscarriage

7Snow Pudding

8The Orange Tree in Cordoba

9Link

10Great Grandfathers

11Introduction to Silences from the Spanish Civil War

12Spanish Civil War

13Research

14Maestrazgo

15Eye Witness

16To the Aragon Front

17Battle of Teruel, Winter 1937-8

18Sardine Tin

19Crossing at Miravet, 1938

20Road to the French Border, 1939

21Letters, 1940

22Paterna, 1939-42

23Not Talking About Franco, 1959

24Coastline, 1960

25The Pyrenees

26Coastal

27Cape Porpoise, Maine

28Stroke

29Coat

30Hairpins

31The Past

32There Are Women

33Coming About

34To My Mother and Father

35Tracks

36Introduction to Zagharit

37The Mat

38Petit Pain

39What We Know

40Nightlight

41Ramy

42Water

43What is Written

44Sabbat

45Mid-Winter

46Haircut

47Mint Tea

48Coastal Route

49Confluence

50El Attaf, 1958

51Zagharit

Books & cds by Jane Duran