His own work became better known when he published his prose poems of the early 1940s, published in Nadie Parecía, which were later collected as La fifeza, published in 1949. Dador followed in 1960, and his Anthology of Cuban Poetry, one of the most influential of anthologies followed in 1965.
An Obscure Meadow Lures Me
An obscure meadow lures me,
her fast, close-fitting lawns
revolve in me, sleep on my balcony.
They rule her beaches, her indefinite
alabaster dome re-creates itself.
On the waters of a mirror,
the voice cut short crossing a hundred paths,
my memory prepares surprise:
fallow dew in the sky, dew, sudden flash.
Without hearing I’m called:
I slowly enter the meadow,
proudly consumed in a new labyrinth.
a hundred heads, bugles, a thousand shows
baring their sky, their silent sunflower.
Strange the surprise in that sky
where unwilling footfalls turn
and voices swell in its pregnant center.
An obscure meadow goes by.
Between the two, wind or thin paper,
the wind, the wounded wind of this death,
this magic death, one and dismissed.
A bird, another bird, no longer trembles.
Copyright © 2005 by José Lezama Lima and Nathaniel Tarn. From José Lezama Lima: Selections. Reprinted with permission of the University of California Press.