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Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Translation

Here's a free translation of a Vallejo poem that I saw on The Coldhearted Scientist's blog last month. It is the last poem in Trilce.
So much hail falls, that I think
to multiply the pearls
gathered from the very jaws of
every storm.

Don't even think of letting this rain dry up!
Unless it could be given to me to
fall for it, or they buried me
wet from the water bubbling up
from every fire.

How far will the rain follow me?
I'm afraid one flank will still be dry,
that it will leave me without having tested me
in the droughts of its awesome vocal cords
which for harmony always make us rise, not fall!
And aren't we always rising down?

Sing, rain, sing, in this still sea-less coast.
I didn't look at any other translation to see what Eshleman did with it or anyone else. I wanted to get some of that awkwardness that Vallejo perfected, but not be too awkward either. It would be easy to "improve" the poem in translating it, in a kind dumb way.


Vance Maverick said...

Is the sense of the first stanza "I intend to multiply..."?

Jonathan said...

Not really. "Graniza tanto, como para que yo recuerde acrecentar " So it is "remember to make grow"

Leslie B. said...


Leslie B. said...