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When there was no such thing as either time or distance, not yet, the small Mediterranean island was, simply, a rocky place covered by woods and thickets, with fine-sanded bays kissed incessantly by waves which were always the same, always different. And it happened that the sea got so rough that it made pinewoods, hideaways, the layout of the stones, the entire area, like a fantastic bird of fire, with twilight laying itself out on the beaches, lighting the gold of the sandbanks.
That was when certain tiny, fascinating flames began to spring up, forty of them.

Antoni Clapés

Illustration by Benet Rossell

Antoni Clapés (Sabadell) has published over half a dozen collections of his poetry (the most recent, Labyrinth, in 1996) and has been awarded the City of Palma Prize (1988). In recent years, his poems have been complemented by the illustrations of Benet Rossell (Áger), an artist trained in Paris and New York, who has had recent one-man shows in Luxembourg and Barcelona (1996). The limited-edition books produced by the Clapés/Rossell tandem are becoming increasingly well-known and sought after in Barcelona and further afield.


Translated from Catalan by Matthew Tree

© poem: Clapés © drawing: Rossell