Las Golondrinas…

Las Golondrinas

Las golondrinas hacen sus nidos en las rocas
Mas altas y mas lucientes y mas cercas al cielo
Mientras que me quedo aquí atado a la tierra
Y es menos que soy hombre y mas que soy caído

Que seria que veo en los visillos de la lluvia?
Tal vez un hogar, como sueño de aguilera,
Tal vez una hermana, tal vez un sonsonete
Que cantaría de madrugada como alma maridable

De mi pobre guisantal, de mi pobre riachuelo
Hago esfuerzos para alcanzar aquella region del reyezuelo
Que ya da vueltas en mis manos como un sol de día ardiente
Aunque las nubes del desierto en los piñones lloriquean.

The Swallows

The swallows make their nests among the rocks
Those highest and most brilliant, those closest to the sky
While down here I remain, tethered to the earth
And less because I’m man, and more because I’m fallen.

What is it that I see in the lace curtains of the rain?
Perhaps it is a refuge, or an eyrie-like dream,
Perhaps it is a sister or perhaps a refrain
Which sings at early morning like a soul still to be wed.

From my poor pea plot, from my wretched little stream
I strive so hard to reach that lofty region of the wren
Which yet spins in my hands like a sun in hottest day
Though the clouds of the desert do snivel into the pines.

These are working versions of this poem. I haven’t yet figured out how to get all the correct Spanish accents in my word processing program. Sometimes they come out and sometimes they don’t, which annoys me no end, but I’m working on it. Spanish seems a tremendous literary language to me. For some reason I feel compelled to translate every story or poem I’ve ever written in English into its Iberian version, though normally now, as in this case, I write poems originally in Spanish and only later put them into English. Which results in something a bit awkward in my first language, probably, but I like doing it nonetheless. I think the Spanish is much better. There’s a very different kind of musicality to it which is less suited to what I want to say in conversation and more suited to what I want to express in a poem or story. It’s very odd, actually, because what I most appreciate about English, the choppy rhythm that has resulted from the marriage of a flinty Germanic base with a Norman French flowery liquidity, is totally absent from Spanish. Perhaps my Anglo-Saxon and Nordic mind just loves the tightrope act of playing with the various irreconcilable opposites.  

 

 
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