jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2016

Dibaxu - Juan Gelman


This is a bilingual Ladino-Castellano poetry collection written by acclaimed Argentine poet Juan dibaxu, a Sephardic term that means “under”. The title already conveys the complex universe the reader may find under the veil of a seeming simplicity; a deluge of obstreperous feelings said in an undertone. The past, love, confusion, countless sensations, strong desires, empty spaces, a search for a homeland – roots with which I fail to identify, once more.
Gelman, published in 1994. He decided to call it
In this book, Gelman's poems first appear in Ladino and then in Spanish; I'll follow the same order, including the English translation afterwards.
tu boz sta escura
di bezus qui a mí no dieras/
di bezus qui a mí no das/
la nochi es polvu dest'ixiliu/
tu voz está oscura
de besos que no me diste/
de besos que no me das/
la noche es polvo de este exilio/
your voice is dark
of kisses that you did not give to me/
of kisses that you do not give to me/
night is dust from this exile/

The act of revealing real emotions – an act often fraught with ineffable difficulty – never looked so simple. Gelman masterfully expresses in a few words, everything that sometimes requires numerous pages and that tangible concept of fleeting nature we call time; everything that emerges from the depths of love, regret,
amarti es istu:
un avla qui va a dizer/
un arvulicu sin folyas
qui da solombra/
amarte es esto:
una palabra que está por decir/
un arbolito sin hojas
que da sombra/
loving you is this:
a word that is about to speak/
a small tree without leaves
that provides shade/

Through unique and recurring imagery and a naturally distinctive cadence, he places the reader inside his mind; our mind, that inhospitable region where dreams and yearnings continue to accumulate in secrecy, longing for emotional impetus. Concise lines that belong to a bigger picture, a fragmented reality; lines that are accompanied by the use of somewhat distracting slashes, part of the author's individual style.
dizis avlas cun árvulis
tenin folyas qui cantan
y páxarus
qui adjuntan sol/

tu silenziu
lus gritus
dil mundu/
dices palabras con árboles/
tienen hojas que cantan
y pájaros
que juntan sol/

tu silencio
los gritos
del mundo/
you say words with trees/
they have leaves that sing
and birds
that gather sun/

your silence
the cries
of the world/

Gelman's poetry reveals itself without any affectation; some things are open to interpretation but amid so much comforting frankness, they are so, so clear. He voices his thoughts with simple yet evocative metaphors and a pithy language which defies any traditional rule.
His thoughts, thus, are diaphanous as fire.

pondrí mi spantu londji/
dibaxu dil pasadu/
qui arde
cayadu com'il sol/
pondré mi espanto lejos/
debajo del pasado/
que arde
callado como el sol/
i will set my fear afar/
underneath the past/
that burns
silent as the sun/


* Photo credit: Book cover via Goodreads.

viernes, 4 de noviembre de 2016

Illuminations - Arthur Rimbaud

I. Sunday

When homework is done, the inevitable descent from heaven and the visitation of
memories, and the session of rhythms invade the dwelling, the head and the world of the spirit.
—A horse scampers off along the suburban turf and the gardens and the wood lots, besieged by the carbonic plague. Somewhere in the world, a wretched melodramatic woman is sighing for unlikely desertions.
Desperadoes are languishing for storms, drunkenness, wounds. Little children are stifling curses along the rivers.
I must study some more to the sound of the consuming work which forms in all the people and rises up in them.

II. Sonnet
Man of usual constitution, wasn't the flesh a fruit hanging in the orchard? —O childhood days!—wasn't the body a treasure to spend?—wasn't love the peril or the strength of Psyche? ... 

* Photo credit: Book cover via Goodreads.