Thursday, March 7, 2013

Invernal


Ruiseñor de la selva mexicana,
No festona esmeralda los alcores,
Es diciembre, deshójanse las flores
Y tórnase amarilla la cabaña.

En el templo solloza la campana,
Allá en la ramazón los ruiseñores,
Y está triste el rebaño y los pastores
Porque linfas no tiene la fontana.

No toco, no: de luto está mi lira
Y no sabe armonías de primavera
La musa del amor, la que inspira.

Cavó sima de olvido que me espera;
Si toco, gime céfiro y suspira
Y de espinas se cubre la pradera.


 — Luisa Godoy 1895


Little is known today of the author of this poem. Luisa Godoy lived in Potosi, Mexico in the 19th century. Her poem Invernal was found in a chapbook at the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara in 2012 — Mujeres Potosina (Potosi Women). What follows is a non-literal translation that hopefully respects Luisa's poem.



Winter

The songbirds of the Mexican jungle,
No longer fill the emerald hills
It is December, the petals have fallen from the flowers
and the nest has withered and yellowed

In the temple the bell cries
There, in the apse are the songbirds
And they are sad for the herd and the shepherds
Because the water does not flow

They do not sing, mourning their song
— forgotten harmonies of spring
inspired by the muse of love

A pit of despair awaits
If they sing the winds will howl and sigh
and thorns will cover the prairie.

— Luisa Godoy 1895


3 comments:

  1. a really moving piece...particularly the loss os the harmonies of spring and of love...nice use of the seasons as well...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the feedback Brian. I often struggle with translations...should I be literal or interpretive? I think that I tend toward interpretation as opposed to translation.

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  2. interpretation works...i ran it through google translate and yours is much easier to read...ha...

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