Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lean into an afternoon

Going a little bilingual on Amazon.
Spring slapped us yesterday so winter slapped us back today. I worked at home, meaning, I did work-work, plus got caught up on a bunch of chores from being out of town for the better part of a week.
I also discovered a new favorite poem, a poet I haven't read, and supported Amazon once again: much excellence.

And after feeling stupid for not being familiar with Pablo Neruda, I read this on Poetry Foundation and felt a little better:
“No writer of world renown is perhaps so little known to North Americans as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda,” observed New York Times Book Review critic Selden Rodman. Numerous critics have praised Neruda as the greatest poet writing in the Spanish language during his lifetime, although many readers in the United States have found it difficult to disassociate Neruda’s poetry from his fervent commitment to communism. An added difficulty lies in the fact that Neruda’s poetry is very hard to translate; his works available in English represent only a small portion of his total output. Nonetheless, declared John Leonard in the New York Times, Neruda “was, I think, one of the great ones, a Whitman of the South.”
Neruda: Love poet and politician, Nobel Prize winner.

This one is so beautiful in English it makes me want to
  1. Cry
  2. Write more poetry
  3. Quit writing poetry
  4. Re-take the Spanish language literature class I took in college
  5. Improve my Spanish enough I can read all the poems in Spanish.
And so beautiful in Spanish I added a video about it (below).


Leaning into the afternoons

Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets
towards your oceanic eyes.

There in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames,
its arms turning like a drowning man's.

I send out red signals across your absent eyes
that smell like the sea or the beach by a lighthouse.

You keep only darkness, my distant female,
from your regard sometimes the coast of dread emerges.

Leaning into the afternoons I fling my sad nets
to that sea that is thrashed by your oceanic eyes.

The birds of night peck at the first stars
that flash like my soul when I love you.

The night gallops on its shadowy mare
shedding blue tassels over the land.

Don't make me pick a favorite line -- although after reading 'leaning into the afternoons,' F. Scott keeps echoing in my head, 'Daisy comes over quite often--in the afternoons....' 'my sad nets' 'your oceanic eyes' 'the night gallops on its shadowy mare / shedding blue tassels over the land.' 


En espanol:

Inclinado en las tardes tiro mis tristes redes
a tus ojos oceánicos.

Allí se estira y arde en la más alta hoguera
mi soledad, que da vueltas los brazos como un náufrago.

Hago rojas señales sobre tus ojos ausentes
que olean como el mar a la orilla de un faro.

Sólo guardas tinieblas, hembra distante y mía,
de tu mirada emerge a veces la costa del espanto.

Inclinado en las tardes echo mis tristes redes
a ese mar que sacude tus ojos oceánicos.

Los pájaros nocturnos picotean los primeras estrellas
que centellean como mi alma cuando te amo.

Galopa la noche en su yegua sombría
desparramando espigas azules sobre el campo.

De nada.

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