Thursday, January 26, 2006

La primavera

Tus palabras
volaban como
un rio del cielo
y transformaban los campos del mundo.

Te busqué hoy en el arbol desnudo
respirando la luz del sol,
en la tierra oscura
floreando con nieve.

Creo que las nubes cantan de tí
y los pajaritos negros
en el cielo rosado
bailan para tí,
creyendo en tu regreso.

Miro las hojas en el suelo,
blandas por la lluvia
y se agitan en el viento lento.
Aprendí del cieno y
las piedras del rio —
el mundo cumple sus promesas.

La noche cerró sus ojos estrellados.
El sol brilla sin parpadear,
y el viento grita a través del cielo.
Aquí, te busco,
Aquí, te llamo dulcemente.


in translation:

Spring

Your words
used to fly like
a river from the sky
and transform the fields of the world.

I looked for you today in the naked tree
breathing sunlight,
in the dark earth
blooming with snow.

I believe the clouds are singing of you
and the small black birds
in the rosy sky
are dancing for you,
believing in your return.

I watch the leaves on the ground,
soft from the rain
and stirring in the slow wind.
I have learned from the silt and
the stones of the river —
the world keeps its promises.

Night has closed its starry eyes.
The sun burns unblinkingly,
and the wind shouts across the sky.
Here, I am looking for you,
Here, I am calling for you, gently.

22 Comments:

Blogger mermaid said...

There is a tender regard for Nature, and the human beings graced with Her presence here. I'm telling you, Mary Oliver...

1/26/2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

This is beautiful in both languages. Thank you. And I'm beginning to believe in telepathy :-)

1/26/2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

azulejo: Palabras hermosas en cualquier idioma pero especialmente en este poema. Ah! La naturaleza le debe tener una envidia. Pero en el amor con usted tambien. Que Luz!

1/26/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Mermaid, I only wish. I'm honored by your comment.

Mary, I certainly enjoyed your poem on a common theme this morning!

No puede ser, Lhombre — ¡la naturaleza no me debe tenir envidia porque ya me enamore de ella! Gracias por sus palabras amables, amigo, y por leer mis poemas. ¿Pero que significa "azulejo"? Soy simple estudiante de este idioma y mi diccionario ofrece solamente "azulejo m glazed tile."

1/26/2006 12:11 PM  
Blogger MB said...

There is a sensibility to every language and it interests me that I actually think this poem flies better in Spanish — the language in which it was first written. If I were to stand English translation on its own as a poem, I think I'd want to make a few changes. Interesting...

1/26/2006 12:35 PM  
Blogger rdl said...

Mucho bonito! I'm hoping that means what i think. very nice!

1/26/2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

You've written a song, hon, and now you must compose the music, and then sing it... beautiful (& I want to hear you!)

1/26/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger moira said...

MB, I've found that is the case with most translations. To translate it is to change its meaning, in a way, to take away little facets that existed only in the original words and cadence. It becomes a new thing.

Beautifully done.

1/26/2006 3:08 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Hola Chica! azul/ejo; blue/bird.

or a more formal: pajaro de azulejo.

So I give to you "azulejo."

I bet you can build a poem around it. Si?

I agree with you that it "flies" better in Spanish. Nice double pun on your dream and your bluebird ala Borges. Awake or dreaming senorita?

1/26/2006 4:26 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Hola Chica! I forgot! I like very much the use of "dulcemente" at the close of the Spanish version. Was that intentional? "Sweetly" gives the poem an entirely different resonance than had you used "suavemente" (smoothly/gently). "Dulcemente rolls so beautifuly off the tongue. The aliteration really sculpts the rest of the poem.

1/26/2006 4:40 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

The only thing that delights me more than reading your poetry in one language is reading it in two! Some of this made me think about how freeing it can be to write in a language which is not one's first - easier to light on the noun/adjective combination that is the most expressive, not the most obvious. Not that anything you write would be easy for anyone less formidably talented. It is certainly true that what your words do, in any language, is sing.

1/27/2006 2:24 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

your poems are remarkable! i wish i could read spanish so i could enjoy them in 2 languages! wowowow! if your work is not yet in a book, it should be. i will return to listen to the songs your words sing. :) so glad to have found this page.

1/27/2006 7:23 AM  
Blogger dweezila said...

my favorite line is "the world keeps its promises." That's powerful, way powerful. Thank you.

1/27/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger MB said...

rdl, good for you! The best way to learn a language is to try to use it. (And I'm glad you like it!)

Brenda, you are not the first to suggest I should set poems to music. But I haven't yet found a way to make songs out of my free verse. I haven't yet found a way to fuse the words with music because songs seem to ask for a more uniform structure, and these poems have a structure all their own. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but that I'm not yet there. My songs are songs and my poems are poems... so far. But my mind stays open, ready to see the path when it's ready to show. And you will hear singing, when it's ready. Thank you for all the warmth you give to me, Brenda, all the faith you show.

Moira, you are exactly right. You put it into words better than I could have. The meanings don't directly cross over, something gets lost or at least altered.

Lhombre: Como anda, Chico? Thank you for the explanation of azulejo. I like the richness in its compoundness... As for "flying" I think you give me more credit than is due — or else I'm dreaming all the time, which could very well be for all I know!

And yes, "dulcemente" — you've identified one of the places where I think the English translation is inadequate. I said "gently" but I wanted a word that indicated a kind of caring and fondness, a kind of love. But in English, anything else I could think of comes across as cloying, somehow. Suavemente, like gently, doesn't say all I wanted to communicate. I don't know — can you think of another word that fits? I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this.

Oh, Jean, thank you. There are days like today when, to be honest, I completely question the value of doing this even though I simultaneously know that it would not be healthy for me to discontinue it, which tells me that my doubts are a form of lying and I suppose that raises the question of how and why they appear in my mind and my only answer to that is that's how it's always been. Long sentence that essentially intends to say that your words were helpful to read today. Thank you.

Sky, thank you and welcome! No, my work is not published. Haven't even thought about that. I'm grateful you enjoyed your visit.

Dweezila, welcome! Thank you for visiting. That line gives me pause, myself. It is powerful. The question is always, is it true? I believe it is. I also believe that we don't always understand what the promises are.

1/27/2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

1/28/2006 6:00 AM  
Blogger Firehawk said...

MB,

I'm very impressed. Reads beautifully in both languages (though I only understood parts of it in Spanish, mine being lamentably poor). Quite a brave undertaking, switching languages. Hats off to you.

1/28/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

so enjoyable to read in both languages... and i agree with dweezila: "the world keeps its promises" are words risen from some deep wellspring. thank you!

1/28/2006 10:24 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Thank you very much, Frankie.

Firehawk, I'm just learning Spanish, so writing in the language helps me learn more.

Snowsparkle, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

1/30/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger moira said...

MB, the first thing I wanted to do when I learned to put more than five words of Spanish together was write poems with it. Learning a new language is like having a new medium to paint with.

1/30/2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger garnet david said...

Beautiful, lyrical, universal. Pretty soon I won't have anything to say...

G

1/30/2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Garnet, it's funny how we always manage to say something more, even if it's saying the same thing in a new way!

1/31/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Moira, you are absolutely right.... it's like having a new toy — I mean, tool to play — I mean, work with.

1/31/2006 12:46 PM  

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