Friday, March 10, 2006

Owl feather

I have been reading Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft. Here's a bit, in Spanish and then in English:

Oda a la guitarra

. . . Y la mujer que toca
la tierra y la guitarra
lleva en su voz
el duelo
y la alegría
de la profunda hora.
El tiempo y la distancia
caen a la guitarra:
somos un sueño,
un canto
entrecortado:
el corazón campestre
se va por los caminos a caballo:
sueña y sueña la noche y el silencio,
canta y canta la tierra y su guitarra.

Ode to the guitar

. . . And the woman who plays
both earth and guitar
bears in her voice
the mourning
and the joy
of the most poignant moment.
Time and distance
fall away from the guitar.
We are a dream,
an unfinished
song.
The untamed heart
rides back roads on horseback:
over and over again it dreams of the night, of silence,
over and over again it sings of the earth, of its guitar.

17 Comments:

Blogger alan said...

Whether your own or someone else's, you always find the words to play my heartstrings...

I am grateful!

alan

3/10/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

beautiful. thank you.

3/10/2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Ned said...

I am a great fan of Neruda, both in the Spanish and the English translations. This is lovely.

3/10/2006 12:46 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

¿Esta guitarra; es "fretless" sí? Porque canta sólo de felicidad azulejo!

Perdóneme azulejo. Pero yo no podría resistir.

3/10/2006 5:59 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Singing of the mourning and the joy... this says everything.

3/10/2006 7:30 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Alan, I'm very glad you enjoyed this piece. The whole set of odes is pretty amazing, all about very common things. But what Neruda does with them, ah...

Sky, I think I was on your "front porch" right when you were on mine!

Ned, nice to see you here! I am also fond of Neruda, as you might surmise.

Lhombre, come se dice "chuckle" en espanol?

Brenda, it really does. I find Neruda's ability to seamlessly weave everything together remarkable.

3/10/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

chuckleito mas grande?

3/11/2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

mb, on another note, with apologies, I just reposted the meeting meme. I saw you'd taken down your beautiful story, and then got an email from Mary wondering where it was. The qarrtsiluni submission was posted that day & so I decided to just leave it, & then forgot to repost the meme until now... It's a lovely meme, about our connections to each other, our writerly imaginations...

3/11/2006 8:07 AM  
Blogger MB said...

chiquito danielito
te haces divertidito

3/11/2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Brenda, thank you for telling me. I'm in the throes of deadlines on a couple projects but I'll try to come take a look a little later.

3/11/2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger T L Reynolds said...

mb,
I'm amazed by pieces like this that still retain their beauty and value even after translation.

I'm just thinking about what a struggle it is to find the right words in my own language. You would think that something is lost in the translation, though it doesn't seem so, here.

3/11/2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger MB said...

TLR: I agree with you, I think nothing has been lost in this translation. Some things are slightly different, but I think only to better achieve the same intent. I am enjoying the collection's bilingual layout. The series of odes itself is pretty amazing.

3/11/2006 2:55 PM  
Blogger leslee said...

I love Neruda, too. Nice one.

3/12/2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

The notes of the guitar continue to echo

3/12/2006 9:12 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

You've sent me scurrying for my old Neruda books. More, more!

3/13/2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Ah, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

3/13/2006 8:12 PM  
Blogger Thunderowl said...

All I can say is.........wow.

4/06/2006 4:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home