Juana de Ibarbourou was a 20th century Uruguyan poet, known for her naturalist and erotic imagery. At age 17, she published an essay on women’s rights that launched her career as a feminist essayist and activist.
The Fig Tree
Because is it harsh and ugly,
because all of its branches are grey,
I feel sorry for the fig tree.
On my farm there are hundred of beautiful trees:
round plum trees,
straight lemon trees,
orange trees with shiny blossoms.
In the spring,
they’re covered with flowers
around the fig tree.
And the poor thing seems very sad
with its twisted branches that are never
dressed in buds.
Because of this,
every time I pass it
I say, trying
to make my voice sweet and joyful:
“The fig tree is the most beautiful
of all the trees in the orchard”.
If it listens,
If it understands the language that I am speaking,
what a sweet grace will nestle
in its sensitive soul!
And, maybe at night,
when the wind is fanning its crown,
drunk with joy it may say:
“Today I was told I am beautiful!”