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POUNDIAN POETRIES

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Antonio Colinas. From Sepulcro en Tarquinia, 1974

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Meeting with Ezra Pound

Translated by Borja Aguiló Obrador and Ben Clark

 

colinas young

Antonio Colinas (1946 La Bañeza, León) is one of Spain’s most outstanding poets. He is also a novelist, essayist, and translator who earned the Spanish National Prize for Literature (1982) and was recently distinguished with the very prestigious Reina Sofía Award for Poetry (2016). His many poetry books include Libro de la mansedumbre (“The Book of Gentleness,” 1997), Sepulcro en Tarquinia ("Sepulchre in Tarquinia," 1974), Noche más allá de la noche (“Night beyond Night,” 2004), El río de sombra (“The River of Shadow,” 2004), Desiertos de la luz (“The Deserts of Light,” 2008), En la luz respirada (“In the Breathed Light,” 2004), Canciones para una música silente (“Songs for a Silent Music,” 2014).

Antonio Colinas belongs to the Novissimo poets, such as Félix de Alzúa, Pere Gimferrer, Vicente Molina Foix, Guillermo Carnero, and Leopoldo María Panero. In May 1971, he visited Pound in Venice. First, he was asked to introduce himself, which he did in a letter he shoved under the door; he was told to come back by 5 pm; when he returned, at first, nobody answered his call, but then he saw Pound and Olga return from their walk and he was invited inside. Pound was mostly silent and Colinas talked to Olga while he stared into Pound's blue eyes. – Viorica Patea.

 

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.)

 


 

Antonio Colinas 

 

 

ENCUENTRO CON EZRA POUND

 

Debes ir una tarde de domingo,

cuando Venecia muere un poco menos.

A pesar de los niños solitarios,

del rosado enfermizo de los muros,

de los jardines ácidos de sombras,

debes ir a buscarle aunque no te hable.

(Olvidarás que el mar hunde a tu espalda

las islas, las iglesias, los palacios,

las cúpulas más bellas de la tierra.

Que no te encante el mar, ni sus sirenas.)

Recuerda: Fondamenta Cabalá.

Hay por allí un vidriero de Murano

y un bar con una música muy dulce.

Pregunta en la pensión llamada Cici

dónde habita aquel hombre que ha llegado

sólo para ver gentes, a Venecia,

aquel americano un poco loco,

erguido y con la barba muy nevada.

Pasa el puente de piedra, verás charcos

llenos de gatos negros y gaviotas.

Allí, junto al canal de aguas muy verdes,

lleno de azahar y frutos corrompidos,

oirás los violines de Vivaldi.

Detente y calla mucho mientras miras.

Ramo Corte Querina: ése es el nombre.

En esa callejuela con macetas,

sin más salida que la de la muerte,

vive Ezra Pound.

 

Antonio Colinas. Sepulcro en Tarquinia, 1974

 

 

MEETING WITH EZRA POUND

 

You should go on a Sunday’s evening,

when Venice dies a little less,

among the solitary children,

the rose pale sickness of the walls,

the gardens of acid shadows,

you must seek him, though he will not speak.

(The sea behind will be forgotten as it sinks

all islands, palaces and steeples,

the most beautiful domes on earth.

Do not be trapped by the mermaids and the sea.)

Remember: Fondamenta Cabalá.

There is a glass-maker from Murano

and a bar of gentle tunes.

Ask in an Inn by the name of Cici

where dwells the man that has arrived

to Venice from far to see these faces,

that half mad tall American

with a beard full of snow.

Cross the stone bridge, you’ll see puddles

filled with gulls and cats of black.

There, by the canal of green green waters,

full of blossom and corrupted fruit,

you will hear Vivaldi’s violins.

Stop and be silent, while you look.

Ramo Corte Querina: that is the name.

In that narrow street with flowerpots

that can only lead to death

lives Ezra Pound. 

 

Translated by Borja Aquiló and Ben Clark, 2017 

 

 


 

 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