BootsnAll Travel Network

Two Poems and a Protest Singer

Via Gallo, here are two poems by the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis (his father was Greek, which explains his surname, but his mother was Mexican, and he was born in Michoacan and, according to the web page created at Sweet Briar College, where he must have been a guest, still lives in Mexico):


Tomorrow when your body
has disappeared from the street
and even that street has turned into air
you will go on walking among the stones
wearing the same red dress
that I see you in now
your look your walk
will still go on behind my eyes
among the white houses
just as they are this afternoon
Translated by “Gallo”

And the original–


Mañana cuando tu cuerpo
haya desaparecido en la calle
y la calle misma se haya vuelto aire
seguirás caminando entre las piedras
con el mismo vestido rojo
con que te veo ahora
tu mirada tu andar
seguiran en mis ojos
entre las casas blancas
como en esta tarde

The second poem takes more work (in both languages) but its multiple layers are a delight:

Goethe Said that Architecture

Goethe said that architecture
is frozen music,
but I believe it to be petrified music
and cities, symphonies built out of time,
concerts of visible forgetting.

Of sounds and silences wrought
into iron, wood and air, he said nothing,
perhaps he spoke abut the places of verb
where we live, and that way alluded
to us language factories.

Musical streets didn’t concern him either,
although man slips via these walkable rivers
into old age, love, the night,
up to the table, into bed,
like a sonata of flesh and bone.
Translated by George McWhirter

Goethe decia que la Arquitectura

Goethe decía que la Arquitectura
es música congelada,
pero yo creo que es musica petrificada
y las ciudades son sinfonías de tiempo consumido,
conciertos de olvido visible.

De labrar sonidos y silencio
sobre hierro, Madera y aire, no dijo nada;
quizás habló de los lugares del verbo
en que vivimos, y con eso aludió
a nosotros, fabricas de lenguaje.

De calles musicales no se ocupó tampoco,
aunque por esos ríos caminables
el hombre va a la vejez, al amor, a la noche,
a la mesa a la cama,
como una sonata de carne y hueso.

Another gift from another friend is the work of David Rovics, who is sometimes called one of the “last protest singers” left on the planet. His lyrics appear in English, Spanish, and German. Rovics is also writing political essays these days and has a blog, accessible from his web site. Great energy!

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