The International Literary Quarterly
Contributors

Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Donald Adamson
Diran Adebayo
Nausheen Ahmad
Toheed Ahmad
Amanda Aizpuriete
Baba Akote
Elisa Albo
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Rosetta Allan
María Teresa Andruetto
Innokenty Annensky
Claudia Apablaza
Robert Appelbaum
Michael Arditti
Jenny Argante
Sandra Arnold
C.J.K. Arkell
Agnar Artúvertin
Sarah Arvio
Rosemary Ashton
Mammed Aslan
Coral Atkinson
Rose Ausländer
Shushan Avagyan
Razif Bahari
Elizabeth Baines
Jo Baker
Ismail Bala
Evgeny Baratynsky
Saule Abdrakhman-kyzy Batay
Konstantin Nikolaevich Batyushkov
William Bedford
Gillian Beer
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Ilya Bernstein
Mashey Bernstein
Christopher Betts
Sujata Bhatt
Sven Birkerts
Linda Black
Chana Bloch
Amy Bloom
Mary Blum Devor
Michael Blumenthal
Jean Boase-Beier
Jorge Luis Borges
Alison Brackenbury
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Theo Breuer
Iain Britton
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Bernard Brown
Diane Brown
Gay Buckingham
Carmen Bugan
Stephen Burt
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James Byrne
Kevin Cadwallander
Howard Camner
Mary Caponegro
Marisa Cappetta
Helena Cardoso
Adrian Castro
Luis Cernuda
Firat Cewerî
Pierre Chappuis
Neil Charleton
Janet Charman
Sampurna Chattarji
Amit Chaudhuri
Mèlissa Chiasson
Ronald Christ
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Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Lila Cona
Eugenio Conchez
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Mary Creswell
Christine Crow
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Majella Cullinane
P. Scott Cunningham
Emma Currie
Jeni Curtis
Stephen Cushman
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Susan Daitch
Rubén Dario
Jean de la Fontaine
Denys Johnson Davies
Lydia Davis
Robert Davreu
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Jill Dawson
Rosalía de Castro
Joanne Rocky Delaplaine
Patricia Delmar
Christine De Luca
Tumusiime Kabwende Deo
Paul Scott Derrick
Josephine Dickinson
Belinda Diepenheim
Jenny Diski
Rita Dove
Arkadii Dragomoschenko
Paulette Dubé
Denise Duhamel
Jonathan Dunne
S. B. Easwaran
Jorge Edwards
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Mohamed El-Bisatie
Tsvetanka Elenkova
Johanna Emeney
Osama Esber
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Ernest Farrés
Elaine Feinstein
Gigi Fenster
Micah Timona Ferris
Vasil Filipov
Maria Filippakopoulou
Ruth Fogelman
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Bashabi Fraser
Janis Freegard
Robin Fry
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Ulrich Gabriel
Manana Gelashvili
Laurice Gilbert
Paul Giles
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George Gömöri
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Martin Goodman
Roberta Gordenstein
Mina Gorji
Maria Grech Ganado
David Gregory
Philip Gross
Carla Guelfenbein
Daniel Gunn
Charles Hadfield
Haidar Haidar
Ruth Halkon
Tomás Harris
Geoffrey Hartman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
John Haynes
Jennifer Hearn
Helen Heath
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Felisberto Hernández
W.N. Herbert
William Hershaw
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Allen Hibbard
Hassan Hilmi
Rhisiart Hincks
Kerry Hines
Amanda Hopkinson
Adam Horovitz
David Howard
Sue Hubbard
Aamer Hussein
Fahmida Hussain
Alexander Hutchison
Sabine Huynh
Juan Kruz Igerabide Sarasola
Neil Langdon Inglis
Jouni Inkala
Ofonime Inyang
Kevin Ireland
Michael Ives
Philippe Jacottet
Robert Alan Jamieson
Rebecca Jany
Andrea Jeftanovic
Ana Jelnikar
Miroslav Jindra
Stephanie Johnson
Bret Anthony Johnston
Marion Jones
Tim Jones
Gabriel Josipovici
Pierre-Albert Jourdan
Sophie Judah
Tomoko Kanda
Maarja Kangro
Jana Kantorová-Báliková
Fawzi Karim
Kapka Kassabova
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Mimi Khalvati
Daniil Kharms
Velimir Khlebnikov
Akhmad hoji Khorazmiy
David Kinloch
John Kinsella
Yudit Kiss
Tomislav Kuzmanović
Andrea Labinger
Charles Lambert
Christopher Lane
Jan Lauwereyns
Fernando Lavandeira
Graeme Lay
Ilias Layios
Hiên-Minh Lê
Mikhail Lermontov
Miriam Levine
Suzanne Jill Levine
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Joanne Limburg
Birgit Linder
Pippa Little
Parvin Loloi
Christopher Louvet
Helen Lowe
Ana Lucic
Aonghas MacNeacail
Kona Macphee
Kate Mahony
Sara Maitland
Channah Magori
Vasyl Makhno
Marcelo Maturana Montañez
Stephanie Mayne
Ben Mazer
Harvey Molloy
Osip Mandelstam
Alberto Manguel
Olga Markelova
Laura Marney
Geraldine Maxwell
John McAuliffe
Peter McCarey
John McCullough
Richard McKane
John MacKinven
Cilla McQueen
Edie Meidav
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Jesse Millner
Deborah Moggach
Mawatle J. Mojalefa
Jonathan Morley
César Moro
Helen Mort
Laura Moser
Andrew Motion
Paola Musa
Robin Myers
André Naffis-Sahely
Vivek Narayanan
Bob Natifu
María Negroni
Hernán Neira
Barbra Nightingale
Paschalis Nikolaou
James Norcliffe
Carol Novack
Annakuly Nurmammedov
Joyce Carol Oates
Sunday Enessi Ododo
Obododimma Oha
Michael O'Leary
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Wilson Orhiunu
Maris O'Rourke
Sue Orr
Wendy O'Shea-Meddour
María Claudia Otsubo
Ruth Padel
Ron Padgett
Thalia Pandiri
Judith Dell Panny
Hom Paribag
Lawrence Patchett
Ian Patterson
Georges Perros
Pascale Petit
Aleksandar Petrov
Mario Petrucci
Geoffrey Philp
Toni Piccini
Henning Pieterse
Robert Pinsky
Mark Pirie
David Plante
Nicolás Poblete
Sara Poisson
Clare Pollard
Mori Ponsowy
Wena Poon
Orest Popovych
Jem Poster
Begonya Pozo
Pauline Prior-Pitt
Eugenia Prado Bassi
Ian Probstein
Sheenagh Pugh
Kate Pullinger
Zosimo Quibilan, Jr
Vera V. Radojević
Margaret Ranger
Tessa Ransford
Shruti Rao
Irina Ratushinskaya
Tanyo Ravicz
Richard Reeve
Sue Reidy
Joan Retallack
Laura Richardson
Harry Ricketts
Ron Riddell
Cynthia Rimsky
Loreto Riveiro Alvarez
James Robertson
Peter Robertson
Gonzalo Rojas
Dilys Rose
Gabriel Rosenstock
Jack Ross
Anthony Rudolf
Basant Rungta
Joseph Ryan
Sean Rys
Jostein Sæbøe
André Naffis Sahely
Eurig Salisbury
Fiona Sampson
Polly Samson
Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Maree Scarlett
John Schad
Michael Schmidt
L.E. Scott
Maureen Seaton
Alexis Sellas
Hadaa Sendoo
Chris Serio
Resul Shabani
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Daniel Shapiro
Ruth Sharman
Tina Shaw
David Shields
Ana María Shua
Christine Simon
Iain Sinclair
Katri Skala
Carole Smith
Ian C. Smith
Elizabeth Smither
John Stauffer
Jim Stewart
Susan Stewart
Jesper Svenbro
Virgil Suárez
Lars-Håkan Svensson
Sridala Swami
Rebecca Swift
George Szirtes
Chee-Lay Tan
Tugrul Tanyol
José-Flore Tappy
Alejandro Tarrab
Campbell Taylor
John Taylor
Judith Taylor
Petar Tchouhov
Miguel Teruel
John Thieme
Karen Thornber
Tim Tomlinson
Angela Topping
David Trinidad
Kola Tubosun
Nick Vagnoni
Joost Vandecasteele
Jan van Mersbergen
Latika Vasil
Yassen Vassilev
Lawrence Venuti
Lidia Vianu
Dev Virahsawmy
Anthony Vivis
Richard Von Sturmer
Răzvan Voncu
Nasos Vayenas
Mauricio Wacquez
Julie Marie Wade
Alan Wall
Marina Warner
Mia Watkins
Peter Wells
Stanley Wells
Laura Watkinson
Joe Wiinikka-Lydon
Hayden Williams
Edwin Williamson
Ronald V. Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Alison Wong
Leslie Woodard
Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese
Niel Wright
Manolis Xexakis
Xu Xi
Gao Xingjian
Sonja Yelich
Tamar Yoseloff
Augustus Young
Soltobay Zaripbekov
Karen Zelas
Alan Ziegler
Ariel Zinder

 

President, Publisher & Founding Editor:
Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Glenna Luschei
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Argentine Editor: Yamila Musa
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Lara Alcantara-Lansberg
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
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Rachel Bowlby
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Peter Brooks
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Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
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Sarah Churchwell
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Klaus Ebner
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Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
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Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
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Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
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Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
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Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
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Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Emily Snyder
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Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
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Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 

Paul Scott Derrick

Poetic Voices:
Translation of Four Poems by Pablo Neruda

Translated from the Spanish into the English
by Paul Scott Derrick
 

 



from Elemental Odes (Odas Elementales) 1954

Ode to the Atom

Tiniest
star,
you seemed
to be buried
forever in things: your devilish
fire occult.
One day
someone knocked
at your minuscule
door:
it was man.
With a
volley of shot
they set you free,
you saw the world,
you went out
for the day,
you visited
cities,
your unreal shining
illuminated lives,
you were
terrible fruit,
electrical loveliness,
you came
to compete with the flames
of summer,
and then –
decked out
in armor
and binoculars,
with angular shirts,
sulphuric mustaches
and the tail of a porcupine,
the soldiers arrived
and seduced you:
sleep,
they said,
enlist.
Oh atom, you look like
a Grecian god,
a Paris dandy
in spring,
lie down here
in my fingernail,
come into this
little box,
and then
the soldier
kept you in his vest
as though you were only
an American
pill,
and he flew around the world
and dropped you
on Hiroshima.

That day we woke up.
Morning
had broken.
All of the birds
fell out of the sky – burnt to a crisp.
An odor
of coffins,
the gas of graves
thundered through space.
The visage of
superhuman punishment
rose through the air,
horrendous,
a fiery mushroom, cupola
of smoke,
the sword blade
of hell.
The burning air surged up
and death was dispersed
in parallel waves
to the mother asleep
with her child,
the fisherman in his boat
and the fish,
to the bakery
and the bread,
to the engineer
and his buildings,
everything
was hot and stinging
dust,
murderous
air.

The city
let go of its smallest places,
it just collapsed, fell down,
destroyed,
burnt-out,
the men
were suddenly lepers,
they took
their children’s hands
and the little hand
came off in their hands.
So, from your shelter,
from the secret
blanket of stone
where the fire had slept
they pulled you out,
you eye-blinding sparkle,
you furious light,
to tear apart lives,
to seek out distant beings,
deep in the sea,
high in the air,
buried in the sand,
hidden in the darkest
corners of the ports,
to obliterate
seeds,
to kill off eggs
to wither the corolla,
they trained you, atom,
to wipe out
nations,
to turn love into a blackened sore,
to burn down piles of hearts
and annihilate the blood.
Oh you insane spark,
go back
to your shroud,
bury yourself
in your mineral sheets,
be a blind pebble again.
Don’t listen to the thugs.
Collaborate
with life, with agriculture,
take the place of motors,
elevate energy,
fecundate the planets.
You have no
secrets now.
Walk among men
without that terrible
mask.
Lighten your pace
and pave
the way for fruits,
separate
mountains,
unbend rivers,
fructify
atom,
overflowing
cosmic
cup,
go back
to the peace of the vine,
to the velocity of joy,
go back to the enclosure
of nature,
give yourself back to us
and instead of the mortal
ashes
of your mask,
instead of the unleashed hell
of your ire,
instead of the threat
of your terrible light, give us
your amazing
strength
for grains,
your unchained magnetism
to fortify peace among men,
and thus, your dazzling light
will not be an inferno,
but happiness,
a morning of hope,
an offering to the world.


Oda al átomo

Pequeñísima
estrella,
parecías
para siempre
enterrada
en el metal: oculto,
tu diabólico
fuego.
Un día
golpearon
rn la puerta
minúscula:
era un hombre.
Con una
Descarga
Te desencadenaron,
Viste el mundo,
Saliste
Por el día,
Recorriste
Ciudades, tu gran fulgor llegaba
A luminar las vidas,
Eras
Una fruta terrible,
De eléctrica hermosura,
venías
a apresurar las llamas
del estío,
y entonces
llegó
armado
con anteojos de tigre
y armadura,
con camisa cuadrada,
sulfúricos bigotes,
cola de puerco espín,
llegó el guerrero
y te sedujo:
duerme.
te dijo,
enróllate,
átomo, te pareces
a un dios griego,
a una primaveral
modista de París,
acuéstate
en mi uña,
entra en esta cajita,
y entonces
el guerrero
te guardó en su chaleco
como si fueras sólo
píldora
norteamericana,
y viajó por el mundo
dejándote caer
en Hiroshima.

Despertamos.
La aurora
se había consumido.
Todos los pájaros
cayeron calcinados.
Un olor
de ataúd,
gas de las tumbas,
tronó por los espacios.
Subió horrenda
la forma de castigo
sobrehumano,
hongo sangriento, cúpula,
humareda,
espada
del infierno.
Subió quemante el aire
y se esparció la muerte
en ondas paralelas,
alcanzando
a la madre dormida
con su niño,
al pescador del río
y a las peces,
a la panadería
y a los panes,
al ingeniero
y a sus edificios,
todo
fue polvo
que mordía,
aire asesino.

La ciudad
Desmoronó sus últimos alvéolos,
Cayó, cayó de pronto,
Derribada,
Podrida,
Los hombres
Fueron súbitos leprosos,
Tomaban
La mano de sus hijos
Y la pequeña mano
Se quedaba en sus manos.
Así, de tu refugio,
Del secreto
Manto de piedra
en que el fuego dormía
te sacaron,
chispa enceguedora,
luz rabiosa,
a destruir las vidas,
a perseguir lejanas existencias,
bajo el mar,
en el aire,
en las arenas,
en el último
recodo de los puertos,
a borrar
las semillas,
a asesinar los gérmenes,
a impedir la corola,
te destinaron, átomo,
a dejar arrasadas
las naciones,
a convertir el amor en negra pústula
a quemar amontonados corazones
a aniquilar la sangre.
Oh chispa loca,
vuelve
a tu mortaja,
entiérrate
en tus mantos minerales,
vuelve a ser piedra ciega,
desoye a los bandidos,
colabora
tú, con la vida, con la agricultura,
suplanta los motores,
eleva la energía,
fecunda los planetas.
Ya no tienes secreto,
camina
entre los hombres
sin máscara
terrible,
apresurando el paso
y extendiendo
los pasos de los frutos,
separando
montañas,
enderezando ríos,
fecundando,
átomo,
desbordada
copa
cósmica,
vuelve
a la paz del racimo,
a la velocidad de la alegría,
vuelve al recinto
de la naturaleza,
ponte a nuestro servicio,
y en vez de las cenizas
mortales
de tu máscara,
en vez de los infiernos desatados
de tu cólera,
en vez de la amenaza
de tu terrible clar4idad, entréganos
tu sobrecogedora
rebeldía
para los cereales,
tu magnetismo desencadenado
para fundar la paz entre los hombres,
y así no será infierno
tu luz deslumbradora,
sino felicidad,
matutina esperanza,
contribución terrestre.




Ode to Time

Inside of you, your growing
age,
inside of me, my passing
age.
Time is decided,
its bell doesn’t ring,
it slowly flows, advancing
inside of us both.
It’s there,
like a quiet pool
in your eyes
and, beneath their
burnished chestnut,
a splinter, the trace
of a tiny stream,
a dry little star
ascending to your lips.
Time may draw
its threads
through your hair,
but in my heart
you will always bring the fragrance
of the honeysuckle vine,
as vivid as living fire.
How lovely it is
to grow old living
all that we’ve lived.
Every day
was transparent stone,
every night
for us, was a deeply shadowed rose.
And this line on your face, or mine,
are flowers or stone,
the fossil of a lightning-flash.
My eyes have been spent on your loveliness,
but then, you are my eyes.
Maybe I’ve tired your duplicate breasts
with my kisses,
but the world has seen your secret splendor
in my joy.
What do we care, my love,
if time,
who raised like double flames
or parallel stalks
my body and your sweetness,
should guard them tomorrow
or strip them away
and with its invisible fingers
erase this identity that keeps us apart
giving us the victory
of a single final soul beneath the sod.


Oda al tiempo

Dentro de ti tu edad
creciendo,
dentro de mi me edad
andando.
El tiempo es decidido,
no suena su campana,
se acrecienta, camina,
por dentro de nosotros,
aparece
como un agua profunda
en la mirada
y junto a las castañas
quemadas de tus ojos
una brizna, la huella
de un minúsculo río,
una estrellita seca
ascendiendo a tu boca.
Sube el tiempo
sus hilos
a tu pelo,
pero en mi corazón
como una madreselva
es tu fragancia,
viviente como el fuego.
Es bello
como lo que vivimos
envejecer viviendo.
Cada día
fue piedra transparente,
cada noche
para nosotros fue rosa negra,
y este surco en tu rostro o en el mío
son piedra o flor,
recuerdo de un relámpago.
mis ojos se han gastado en tu hermosura,
pero tú eres mis ojos.
Yo fatigué tal vez bajo mis besos
tu pecho duplicado,
pero todos han visto en mi alegría
tu resplandor secreto.
Amor, que importa
que el tiempo,
el mismo que elevó como dos llamas
o espigas paralelas
mi cuerpo y tu dulzura,
mañana los mantenga
o los desgrane
y con sus mismos dedos invisibles
borre la identidad que nos separa
dándonos la victoria
de un solo ser final bajo la tierra.




Ode to the Tomato

The street
was filled with tomatoes,
midday,
summer,
the light
splits apart
like the halves
of a tomato,
the juice
runs out
into the streets.
In December
the tomato
comes loose,
it invades
kitchens,
it gets in through lunches,
it sits down
calmly
on sideboards,
in among the glasses,
the butter-dishes,
the blue salt-shakers.
It has
an inner light,
a benign
majesty.
We must, unfortunately,
kill it:
the knife
sinks
into the living pulp,
in a visceral
red
a fresh,
profound,
inexhaustible
sun
fills the salads
of Chile,
joyfully it marries
the clear-skinned onion,
and, in celebration,
we cast
upon its partly-opened spheres
a sprinkling of
oil,
essential child
of the olive,
the pepper
contributes
its fragrance,
the salt
its magnetic charm:
these are the weddings
of the day,
the parsley
raises
its banners,
potatoes
bubble and boil,
the roast beef
knocks
against the door
with its smell,
it’s time!
let’s go!
and, on
the table, in the circle
of summer,
the tomato,
orb of the earth,
fertile
and various
star,
reveals
its convolutions,
its canals,
illustrious plenitude
and abundance,
without a bone
or a shell,
without a scale or a spine,
it makes us
a gift
of its fiery red
and the total sum of its freshness.


Oda al tomate

La calle
se llenó de tomates,
mediodía,
verano,
la luz se parte
en dos
mitades
de tomate,
corre
por las calles
el jugo.
En diciembre
se desata
el tomate,
invade
las cocinas,
entra por los almuerzos,
se sienta
reposado
en los aparadores,
entre los vasos,
las mantequilleras,
los saleros azules.
Tiene
luz propia,
majestad benigna.
Debemos, por desgracia,
asesinarlo:
se hunde
el cuchillo
en su pulpa viviente,
en una roja
víscera,
un sol
fresco,
profundo,
inagotable,
llena las ensaladas
de Chile,
se casa alegremente
con la clara cebolla,
y para celebrarlo
se deja
caer
aceite,
hijo
esencial del olivo,
entre sus hemisferios entreabiertos,
agrega
la pimienta
su fragancia,
la sal su magnetismo:
son las bodas
del día, el perejil
levanta
banderines,
las papas
hierven vigorosamente,
el asado
golpea
con su aroma
en la puerta,
es hora!
vamos!
y sobre
la mesa en la cintura
del verano,
el tomate,
astro de tierra,
estrella
repetida
y fecunda,
nos muestra
sus circunvoluciones,
sus canales,
la insigne plenitud
y la abundancia
sin hueso,
sin coraza,
sin escamas ne espinas,
nos entrega
el regalo
de su color fogoso
y la totalidad de su frescura.




from The Third Book of Odes (El tercer libro de las odas), 1957


Ode to the Bosque de las Petras

Somewhere on the coast, between the
purple eucalyptus
and the newer mansions
of the carob tree,
a solemn forest
stands:
an ancient
handful of trees
that death forgot.

The centuries
have twisted
their trunks, scars
have covered every branch,
ash and mourning
have sifted through their ancient crowns,
all of the leaves
are tangled and twined
like gigantic spider
webs
and the limbs, like fingers
of agonizing green,
have slowly gnarled together
and knotted up, and petrified.

But the agéd forest is still
alive: a new leaf
sometimes struggles to the light,
a nest
shook its branch
in the spring,
a drop
of fragrant resin
falls into the water and dies.
Quiet, quiet is the shade
and the compact silence
is
like
black glass
on the aging arms
of forgotten candelabras.
The ground rises up,
the knotty feet have unearthed themselves –
the stony dead,
broken statues, bones,
the roots
that sifted the earth.

The silence there
at night
is a bottomless lake
where
presences
emerge,
flowing hair
of moss
and of vines,
ancient eyes
with
turquoise
light,
forgotten ashen lizards,
broad-beamed women madly dead,
dazzling
warriors,
Araucanian
rites.

The petrified
forest
fills up like
a monstrous
salon,
and later
darkness,
rain,
time
and oblivion
fall,
and the lights go out.

The invisible beings
take themselves home
and the forest
returns
to immobility, its solemn
virtue of stone and dream.


Oda al bosque de Petras

Por la costa, entre los
eucaliptos azules
y las mansiones nuevas
de Algarrobo,
hay un bosque
solemne:
un antiguo
puñado de árboles
que olvidó la muerte.

Los siglos
retorcieron
sus troncos, cicatrices
cubrieron cada rama,
ceniza y luto
cayeron sobre sus antiguas copas,
se enmarañó el follaje
de uno y otro
como telas titánica
de araña
y fueron los ramajes como dedos
de agonizantes verdes
anudados
unos en otros y petrificadas.

El viejo bosque vive
aún, alguna nueva
hoja asoma en la altura,
un nido
palpitó
en la primavera,
una gota
de resina fragante
cae en el agua y muere.

Quieta, quieta es la sombra
y el silencio compacto
es
como
cristal negro
entre los viejos brazos
de los desfallecidos candelabros.
El suelo se levanta,
los pies nudosos se desenterraron
y son muertos de piedra,
estatuas rotas, huesos,
las raíces
que afloraron a la tierra.

De noche
allí el silencio
es un profundo lago
del que salen
sumergidas
presencias,
cabelleras
de musgos
y de lianas,
ojos
antiguos
con
luz
de turquesa,
cenicientos lagartos olvidados,
anchas mujeres locamente muertas,
guerreros
deslumbradores,
ritos
araucanos.

Se puebla el viejo bosque
de las Petras
como un salón
salvaje
y luego
sombra,
lluvia,
tiempo,
olvido
caen
apagándolo.

Los invisibles seres
se recogen
y el viejo bosque
vuelve
a su inmovilidad, a su solemne
virtud de piedra y sueño.



Poetic Voices