Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Poetry and such, because it’s Wednesday, and that’s what happens. January 16, 2013

I’ll switch it up a bit today and post a poem in Spanish. I LOVE languages, and I love poetry in other languages (when I can understand it, that is). Although there are some really great translators out there, I really believe that a poem is its best in its original language. There is something about the feel of it, the culture of a language, that gets lost in translation. So here is a poem by Pablo Neruda called “Para que tu me oigas” (“So that you will hear me) I guess I’ll be nice and post the translation after it, for all you English speakers…

Para que tu me oigas

Para que tu me oigas
mis palabras
se adelgazan a veces
como las huellas de las gaviotas en la playa

Collar, cascabel ebrio
para tus manos suaves como las uvas.

Y las miro lejanas mis palabras.
Más que mias son tuyas.
Van trepando en mi viejo dolor como las yedras.

Ellas trepan así por las paredes húmedas.
Eres tú las culpable de este juego sangriento.
Ellas están huyendo de mi guarida oscura.
Todo lo llenas tú, todo lo llenas.

Antes que tú poblaron la soledad que ocupas,
y están acostumbradas más que tú a mi tristeza.

Ahora quiero que digan lo que quiero decirte
para que tú me oigas como quiero que me oigas.

El viento de las angustia aún las suele arrastrar.
Huracanes de sueños aún a veces las tumban.
Escuchas otras voces en mi voz dolorida.

Llanto de viejas bocas, sangre de viejas súplicas.
Ámame, compañera. No me abandones. Sígueme.
Sígueme, compañera, en ese ola de angustia.

Pero se van tiñendo con tu amor mis palabras.
Todo lo ocupas tú, todo lo ocupas.

Voy haciendo de todas un collar infinito
Para tus blancos manos, suaves como las uvas.

So That You Will Hear Me

So that you will hear me
my words
sometimes grow thin
as the tracks of the gulls on the beaches.

Necklace, drunken bell
for your hands smooth as grapes.

And I watch my words from a long way off.
They are more yours than mine.
They climb on my old suffering like ivy.

It climbs the same way on damp walls.
You are to blame for this cruel sport.
They are fleeing from my dark lair.
You fill everything, you fill everything.

Before you they peopled the solitude that you occupy,
and they are more used to my sadness than you are.

Now I want them to say what I want to say to you
to make you hear as I want you to hear me.

The wind of my anguish still hauls on them as usual.
Sometimes hurricanes of dream still knock them over.
You listen to other voices in my painful voice.

Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplication.
Love me, companion. DOn’t forsake me. Follow me.
Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguish.

But my words because stained with your love.
You occupy everything, you occupy everything.

I am making them into an endless necklace
for you white hands, smooth as grapes.

So, it’s a beautiful poem in either language, but you lose a lot of the rhythm and conciseness when you translate it. There is just something about “todo lo llenas tú, todo lo llenas” that is more moving than “you fill everything, you fill everything.”

 

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