The Ursa Major

translated from the Spanish by Aaron Coleman

This is the Ursa Major.
Hunted down June 4th, ’64,
by a sputnik on the prowl.
(Do not touch the stars
on its skin.)
                      Now seeking
a tamer.



La Osa Mayor

Esta es la Osa Mayor.
Cazada en junio 4, 64,
por un sputnik cazador.
(No tocar las estrellas
de la piel).
                      Se solicita
un domador.

Nicolas Guillén, “The Ursa Major” / “La Osa Mayor” from The Great Zoo, translated by Aaron Coleman. © 2023 by Nicolás Guillén. Translation © 2024 by Aaron Coleman. Reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press and the Estate of Nicolás Guillén. All rights reserved.