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Two poems from the Spanish by Enrique Moya

January 31, 2011 12 comments

translated by Nathan D. Horowitz

 

Ante la tumba de Søren Kierkegaard

1.
Devoto era del azul,
mas al conocer el gris de Copenhague
me consagré al sacerdocio de sus tonos.

Ahora escucho atento las voces
procedentes de la niebla.
Transcribo sus ecos con tinta de agua y memoria.

2.
La tumba de Søren Kierkegaard, vacía de crisantemos
La sombra de un árbol reposa sobre su lápida
Trozos de luz alternan con trozos de sombra
El cielo del camposanto aún está en la nevera.

Los gorriones daneses alternan sus melodías,
saben cuándo es tiempo de requiem
y cuándo, de fanfarria.

En sus Estudios estéticos, el filósofo aconseja:

“El que […] se haya perfeccionado
en el arte de olvidar y en el arte de recordar
podrá jugar a la pelota con la existencia entera”.

Nada tan efímero
como la muerte ante un retoño
bajo el cielo de abril.

3.
Sentado y sin palabras
ante un epitafio.

El mejor poema a la primavera
es permanecer en silencio un instante.

 

At Kierkegaard’s tomb

1.
I was devoted to blue.
But when I met the grey of Copenhagen,
I consecrated myself to the priesthood of its tones.

Now I listen carefully to voices emerging from the fog.
I transcribe their echoes with ink of water mixed with memory.

2.
The tomb of Søren Kierkegaard is empty of chrysanthemums.
The shadow of a tree reposes on its stone.
Pieces of light alternate with pieces of shadow.
The sky above the churchyard is still in an icebox.

The Danish sparrows alternate their melodies:
they know when it’s time for a requiem
and when it’s time for a fanfare.

In his Aesthetic Studies, the philosopher advises:

“When you reach perfection
in the art of forgetting and remembering,
you will be able to play games with all existence.”

Nothing is as ephemeral
as death faced with new shoots under an April sky.

3.
I sit wordlessly
before an epitaph.

The best ode to spring
is a moment of silence.

*

Verano en las tierras de Islandia

1.
En Ódáðahraun el viento bautiza
los puntos cardinales de este desierto hijo de la nada.

El silencio tiene su modo de decir las cosas,
cada pisada posee un eco profundo, expansivo.
Así que más vale entender bien lo que dice
o serás alimento de los fantasmas de la arena.

2.
Vatnajökull tiene forma de eternidad
y su infinito cubre mi mano con su niebla.
Mas intuyo la distancia entre mi alma y el glaciar
por los susurros del hielo,
por el tímido saludo del disco solar.

3.
En Kerlingarfjöll no ayuda echarle un vistazo a la brújula;
hay que orientarse por la sombra de las piedras.
También puedes cerrar los ojos
y dejarte llevar por la ventisca del glaciar.
Todos los caminos llevan a Reykjavík.

4.
La noche está allí
aun cuando nadie la vea.
2.56 am en la bahía de Faxaflói,
y el sol levita
sobre el frío verano de Islandia.

 

Summer in Iceland

1.
In Ódáðahraun
the wind baptizes
the cardinal points of this desert
born of nothingness.

The silence has a way of saying things.
(Each step has a deep echo, expansive.)
So it’s best to understand clearly what it says,
or else you will nourish the ghosts in the sand.

2.
Vatnajökull is shaped like eternity,
and its infinity covers my hand with its fog.
But I intuit the distance between my soul and the glacier
through the whispers of the ice
and the timid greeting of the solar disk.

3.
In Kerlinarfjöll it doesn’t help to glance at the compass.
You have to orient yourself by the shadows of the stones.
You can also close your eyes
and let yourself be guided by the breeze from the glacier.
All roads lead to Reykjavik.

4.
The night is there
even when no-one sees it.
At 2:56 a.m.
in the Bay of Faxaflói
the sun levitates above the cold Icelandic summer.


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Enrique Moya is a Venezuelan-Austrian poet, fiction writer, literary translator, publisher, essayist, and music and literary critic. He has published works in diverse literary genres in newspapers and magazines of Latin America, the USA, Asia and Europe. His collections of poetry include Oval Memory (Eclepsidra Publishing, Caracas, 2000, Bilingual English–Spanish Edition), Café Kafka (Labyrinth Publishing House, Vienna-London, 2005, Bilingual English–Spanish Edition), Theories of the Skin (La Bohemia Publishing House, Buenos Aires, 2006, Bilingual German–Spanish Edition) and Before Soren Kierkegaard’s Tomb (Lilla Torg, Malmö, Sweden 2007, Swedish-Spanish). His poetry has been translated and published into English, German, Italian, Swedish, Turkish, Hindi, Arabic, Rumanian, and other languages. Enrique Moya is director of Latin American – Austrian Literature Forum.

Nathan D. Horowitz teaches English in Vienna, Austria.