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 Juan Antonio González-Iglesias

 

 

 

gleziglesias

 

Poet and painter, Juan Antonio González-Iglesias is Associate Professor in the Classics Department at the University of Salamanca. Among his published books are La hermosura del héroe (“The Beauty of the Hero,” 1993), Ensayando círculos (“Practicing Circles,” 1997) Vayamos hacia el norte aunque sea dando la vuelta por el sur (“Let’s Go North, Even If by Going South,” 2001) Más hermosura (“More Beauty,” 2002) "Eros es más" (“Eros is More,” 2007).

 

  

This translation is published in Make It New for the first time. Grateful acknowledgment to Viorica Patea for submitting the poem and translation to our magazine. (N. Ed.)

 

  

UN POEMA ES MEJOR QUE GOOGLE MAPS

 

Debes ir una tarde de domingo

….

Que no te encante el mar y sus sirenas

….

Détente y calla mucho mientras miras

 

Llevamos ya viviendo algunos meses

en su ciudad. Hoy vamos a su casa.

Ni el plano de papel ni el de smartphone

valen para este hermoso laberinto.

Nos vamos a orientar con un poema.

Un poema es mejor que Google Maps,

claro poema, donde se ve todo

en relieve, los muros, los jardines

las cúpulas mas bellas. Como nautas

armados de tarjeta Imob, de sílabas,

partimos del marmóreo embarcadero

de Ca d'Oro, atrás quédese su frágil

tracería de ojivas y trilóbulos,

surquemos el Canal Grande sin prisa,

prestando al canto de cada sirena

la atención de los sueños, singladura

preciosa en una línea tan quebrada

que no se olvida de ángulo ninguno

para alzar una única belleza,

parteluces, dinteles, campaniles,

puentes y altanas, no hay itinerario

mas rico en esta Tierra. Hasta este punto.

Hasta esta albicante escalinata

tocada por el mar, de la Salute.

Sin rumbo, estamos cerca, bordeamos

La punta anclada, la impaciente proa

de la Dogana. Salen de un portal

unos vecinos, pero no conocen

a aquel americano enamorado

de Europa, el que logró escapar de alli

fingiendo no estar loco y no estar cuerdo.

Aquí son las gaviotas y los gatos

los que nos guían. Es aquí. Las líneas

hablan de amor que no se extingue nunca.

Questa casa abitò per mezzo secolo.

Esta sencillla casa. Del buzón

sobresale un polícromo folleto

con las ofertas de un hipermercado.

Grandes fotografías de productos

con los precios en euros. Sotto costo.

Nos parece un cuademo literario,

edición no venal, raro tesoro.

Callamos en la tarde de domingo.

Callamos mucho mientras contemplamos.

Soul melts into air, anima into aura.

A una sola palabra hemos llegado.

Un poema es mejor que Google Maps,

mejor que Google Earth. La callejuela

con macetas, agua verdeante,

el lugar en el mundo, en este encuentro

con Ezra Pound.

A POEM IS BETTER THAN GOOGLE MAPS

 

You should go on a Sunday evening

….

Do not be trapped by the mermaids and the sea

….

Stop and be silent, while you look

 

We have been living some months

in his city. Today we go to his house.

Neither the folded paper map, nor the smartphone

can help us in this beautiful labyrinth.

We will orient ourselves with a poem.

A poem is better than Google Maps,

a clear poem, in which everything is seen

in relief, the walls, the gardens,                                              

the most beautiful domes. Like seamen

armed with an Imob card, with syllables,

we depart from the marble dock         

of Ca d'Oro, leaving its delicate tracery

of ogives and trilobes behind,

we shall slowly plough the Grand Canal,

heeding, as in a dream, the song

of every siren, a gorgeous

voyage in a line so broken

that we shall not forget the smallest

angle of incomparable beauty,

mullions, lintels, campanilles,

bridges and temples, there is no itinerary

richer on this Earth. Up to this point.

To this white stairway

touched by the sea, of the Salute.

Wandering aimlessly, coming near, we skirt

the anchored point, the impatient bow

of the Dogana. Some neighbors emerge

from a portal, but they do not know

that American enamored of

Europe, the one who managed to escape from there

by feigning that he was not mad and was not sane.

Here seagulls and cats

are our guides. This is it.

The lines speak of love that can never be extinguished.

Questa casa abitò per mezzo secolo.

A simple house. From the mailbox

a polychrome pamphlet sticks out

with offers from a supermarket.

Garish pictures of products

with prices in euros. Sotto costo.

It seems to us to be a literary notebook

not a venal publication, a rare treasure.

We stand there silent on a Sunday afternoon.

We stand there silent, and we contemplate.

Soul melts into air, anima into aura.

We’ve arrived at a single word.

A poem is better than Google Maps,

Better than Google Earth. The alleyway

With flowerpots, greenish water,

this place in the world, in this encounter

With Ezra Pound.

 

Translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea, 2017