Monday 18 July 2011

"La Tierra Giró Para Acercarnos"

-by Eugenio Montejo

La tierra giró para acercarnos,
giró sobre sí misma y en nosotros,
hasta juntarnos por fin en este sueño,
como fue escrito en el Simposio.
Pasaron noches, nieves y solsticios;
pasó el tiempo en minutos y milenios.
Una carreta que iba para Nínive
llegó a Nebraska.
Un gallo cantó lejos del mundo,
en la previda a menos mil de nuestros padres.
La tierra giró musicalmente
llevándonos a bordo;
no cesó de girar un solo instante,
como si tanto amor, tanto milagro
sólo fuera un adagio hace mucho ya escrito
entre las partituras del Simposio.

I can't speak Spanish, I can recognise a few words, that's all. Though if I read this through, sounding it in my head, I can appreciate the shapes of it, the rhythm, the flow.
But the person it's posted for, she can read it, understand it.
We've discussed this, translations, the fractures, the shifts in meaning, the changes in nuance. I usually say I don't like reading translations. But. Here we have an example. I can't know what a spanish person would hear, feel, on reading this, I can never reach those associations, those unspoken understandings, but luckily for me, there's a translation, by Australian poet, Peter Boyle, which becomes, in translated form, a poem, by Peter Boyle, based upon a poem by Eugenio Montejo.

"The Earth Turned to Bring Us Closer"

The earth turned to bring us closer, 
it spun on itself and within us, 
and finally joined us together in this dream 
as written in the Symposium. 
Nights passed by, 
snowfalls and solstices; 
time passed in minutes and millennia. 
An ox cart that was on its way to Nineveh 
arrived in Nebraska. 
A rooster was singing,
some distance from the world, 
in one of the thousand pre-lives of our fathers. 
The earth was spinning with its music 
carrying us on board; 
it didn't stop turning a single moment 
as if so much love, 
so much that's miraculous,
was only an adagio 
written long ago 
in the Symposium's score.

When I found this poem, I was rummaging in the internet for something else, a poem by Norwegian forester Hans Borli. I've posted it before, but couldn't remember the title,
-it was, in english,

"There is No Sky These Nights"

There is no sky these nights
in early July, just an emptiness,
a pale absence
over the woods and bogs and
the haze-blue fields
where the flowers blossom forlorn
in the shadow of the scythe's approaching time.
Tired of arching over
the mortals' paths in the dust,
the sky has in fact gone on holiday
and travelled far away,
to the azure coasts of eternity
where life is a ship on it's journey.
But it has committed the stars
to the moss's protection,
the moss in the woods
 -- the mildest and softest on earth.
I walk among star images,
walk like a little Lord
through galaxies
of shining whiteness. Somewhere
I stop with one foot lifted,
so I won't trample on the Pleiades.

Today I was on a roof,fascinated by a clump of moss, with its little star flowers holding aloft perfect bright spheres of bright dew. Like transparent planets, magnifying the intricacy below.  "To see a world in a grain of sand. And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand. And eternity in an hour."
And I thought of Hans Borli's poem. And of how she'd understand .
Then I found Montejo and it just seemed so apt. 
On sunday, I'll be flying in a great sweeping arc above the turning earth, some 5000 miles toward Texas, where she'll be waiting.
And she'll understand the imagery, the connections,  
the still point 
of the turning world.