Anna Crowe 
ÜbersetzerIn

auf Lyrikline: 94 Gedichte übersetzt

aus: katalanisch, deutsch nach: englisch

Original

Übersetzung

PARE, LA MAR – IRREVOCABLE I JUSTA

katalanisch | Teresa Pascual

Pare, la mar —irrevocable i justa—
arrima al port la càrrega dels dies,
a coberta del fred i de la sal.
I en els bocois de plata que administres,
poses atentament el temps en ordre.
Fora, on ja no estem per a obeir
el referent fidel de les muntanyes,
apunta el vent a penes sobre l'aigua;
la terra, dins, exili de la mar,
segueix sense perdó les seues lleis
que contra el cos i des del cos les dicta.

© Teresa Pascual
aus: El temps en ordre
Audio production: institut ramon llull

FATHER, THE SEA - IRREVOCABLE AND JUST

englisch

Father, the sea —irrevocable and just—

brings into port the cargo of days,

safe from the cold and the salt.

And in the barrels of silver in your charge,

you set out time with great care.

Outside, where we are no longer to obey

the faithful report of the mountains,

the wind barely scribbles on water;

the earth, inland, exiled from the sea,

follows, unforgiving, its own laws

which it establishes against and from the body.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Enveja

katalanisch | Cèlia Sànchez-Mústich

Erupciona volcànica
a la pell, ni la raó l’anul·la
ni el pudor l’arronsa
ni l’emoció l’esquiva
ni la voluntat l’ofega.
La meva enveja és tan voraç
que tan sols puc comparar-la
a l’alegria radiant, inaturable,
desaforada alegria
de saber que allò que envejo
algú altre ho té.

© Cèlia Sánchez-Mústich
aus: On no sabem
Valencia: Tresiquatre, 2010
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Jealousy

englisch

Erupts, volcanic
on the skin, and reason will not cancel it
or shame shrink it
or feeling frighten it
or will-power smother it.
My jealousy is so devouring
that I can compare it only
to radiant, unstoppable joy,
the ungovernable joy
of knowing that what I covet
is held by another.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Invisibilitats

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Si la beso
el desig torna a créixer
com les extremitats d'una estrella de mar
i m'oblido que morirem qualsevol dia
i que llavors tant se valdrà que hàgim existit.
El que escrius potser et fa eterna
però el que vius t'ho emportes dins d'un sac
per on treuen el cap fades i monstres
i no se n'assabentarà mai ningú.

Morirem
i potser ens ploraran els gossos
que no sabran que hem fet l'amor tantes vegades
d'amagat i del revés
i sense seny
i sense casa.
El que no dius sí que existeix
--t'existeix endins
com una pedra negra
que tu mateixa t'has nuat al turmell.

© Sònia Moll
aus: unpublished manuscript
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Invisibilities

englisch

If I kiss her
desire grows back again
like the arms of a starfish
and I forget that we will die some day
so that then it will be as though we’d never existed.
What you write will maybe make you immortal
but what you live you carry off in a sack
out of which imps and monsters stick their head
and no one will ever know.

We will die
and maybe the dogs will mourn us
who won’t know that we have made love so may times
in secret and the wrong way round
and with no sense
and with no home.
What you don’t say certainly exists
– it exists within you
like a black stone
that you yourself have tied to your ankle.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Un lloc

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Jo abans tenia un lloc a dins de la família.
La llitera de dalt al dormitori del fons,
al costat del lavabo.
La cadira,
a taula,
davant de la del pare
per escoltar-li els versos i aprendre'ls de memòria
per si així se li feia més fàcil estimar-me.
El tamboret d'un piano de tecles marronoses
que mai no vaig aprendre de tocar,
i el llindar d'una cuina
des d'on mirava feinejar la mare
i li contava coses.

Jo abans tenia un lloc a dins de la família.
El capçal moribund d'aquell avi xilè
que es va deixar un pulmó dins les calderes
d'un balener tronat
--quan era un cabro chico,
a Chiloé només hi havia papas
per menjar
i els germans se li morien
de dos en dos,
com els brots malalts de podridura.

Jo abans tenia un lloc a dins de la família.
Abans que la mare morís i ens oblidés el nom
abans que els germans marxessin
a construir cases pròpies
i tinguessin fills i filles que tindrien
un lloc dins la família
fins que els seus germans marxessin
a construir cases pròpies
i tinguessin fills i filles que tindrien
un lloc dins la família
fins que els seus germans marxessin
a construir
cases
pròpies

i es despengés un nom
de la branca i de l’arbre

que ja no tindria casa
ni tamboret ni llitera
ni llindar ni cadira
ni capçal
ni mare.

© Sònia Moll
aus: unpublished manuscript
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

A place

englisch

Before, I used to have a place inside the family.
The top bunk in the back bedroom,
next to the lavatory.
The chair,
at table,
facing my father
to listen to his poems and learn them by heart
in case it made it easier for him to love me.
The stool belonging to the piano with brownish keys
that I never learned to play,
and the threshold of a kitchen
and from where I used to watch my mother working
and told her things.

Before, I used to have a place inside the family.
The sagging cushion of that Chilean grandfather
who had left one lung in the hell
of a clapped-out whaling-ship
-- when he was a little lad
on Chiloé there was nothing but tatties
to eat
and his brothers died
two by two
like buds rotten with disease.

Before, I used to have a place inside the family.
Before our mother died and we forgot her name
Before my brothers left home
to build houses of their own
and to have sons and daughters who would have
a place inside the family
until their brothers left home
to build houses of their own
and to have sons and daughters who would have
a place inside the family
until their brothers left home
to build
houses
of their own

and there would be taken down one name
from the branch and the tree
who would now have no home
no piano-stool, no bunk-bed
no threshold, no chair
no cushion,
no mother

Translated by Anna Crowe

No sé què dir-te

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Tanca la porta del despatx
i em parla de la mort
mentre la mare m'espera a la saleta de la clínica.
Tres anys, deu anys, no sé què dir-te.

Em parla de la mort i se m’acut
que m’asseuré a esperar-la vora el camí
des d’on es veu un arbre tot sol
contra el cel escombrat de núvols.
Que aniré a buscar roselles pels camins antics
i m’ompliré la boca de cireres vermelles.
Que hauré menjat maduixes, abans,
amb molta nata,
i hauré ballat tota la nit per celebrar els quaranta.
Em parla de la mort i se m’acut
que tornaré a fer l’amor una altra tarda
com si m’hi anés la vida. Que nedaré nua al mar
i em perdré amb bicicleta pels camins de l’illa.

Tres anys, deu anys, no sé què dir-te.
La mare rient,
la mare cridant,
la mare plantant tomàquets a l’hortal
i pintant de blanc les parets del safareig.
―Jo rient,
jo ballant,
jo pintant-me furiosa la ratlla dels ulls
i tornant a tenir ganes de dormir amb algú.

Tres anys, deu anys, no sé què dir-te.
No sé què dir-te.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

I don't know what to tell you

englisch

He closes the door of the consulting-room
and speaks to me of death
while my mother waits for me in the small waiting-room.
Three years, ten years, I don’t know what to to tell you.

He speaks to me of death and it comes to me
that I’ll sit and wait for it beside the road
from where you can see a tree standing all alone
against a sky darkened by clouds.
That I’ll go looking for poppies along the old paths
and fill my mouth with red cherries.
That I’ll have eaten strawberries, earlier,
with lots of cream,
and will have danced all night to celebrate my fortieth.
He speaks to me of death and it comes to me
that I’ll make love once more, another evening
as though my life depended on it. That I’ll swim naked in the sea
and lose myself riding on my bike along the island’s roads.

Three years, ten years, I don’t know what to tell you.
My mother laughing,
my mother calling,
my mother planting tomatoes in the vegetable garden
and painting the walls of the wash-house white.
– And me laughing,
me dancing,
me furiously painting my eyes with eyeliner
and wanting to sleep with someone again.

Three years, ten years, I don’t know what to tell you.
I don’t know what to tell you.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Ha entrat la mort al rebedor de casa

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Ha entrat la mort al rebedor de casa, i no ha marcit les flors. Tampoc no s'ha espatllat la rentadora, ni s'han fos les bombetes, ni s'han quedat dringant les copes al prestatge. S'ha presentat la mort i no quedaven ja ni cordes fluixes ni passes vacil·lants amb pànic de l'abisme. La mort ha entrat lliscant per la finestra entreoberta, anunciada pels trons i la tempesta insòlita d'una matinada de juliol, i jo m'he arrecerat a l'ombra de la vida i t'he estimat per sempre els ulls desorientats, la pal·lidesa extrema de la pell, les mans rendides sota els llençols asèptics. La mort s'ha presentat sense trucar a la porta i li he pogut fer un lloc enmig de les costelles, no gaire lluny del cor, on encara hi ha l'eco de la seva veu que canta la cançó, Qué grande que viene el río, qué grande se va a la mar, i la sang que em bombeja, impacient, amb una ànsia incansable de viure.

© Sònia Moll
aus: Creixen malgrat tot les tulipes
Viena edicions, 2013
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Death has crossed the threshold of the house

englisch

Death has crossed the threshold of the house, and the flowers haven’t withered.
Nor was the washing-machine damaged, or the light-bulbs fused, or the glasses on the shelf set ringing. Death introduced itself and there remained no dangling ropes or footsteps tottering with panic at the abyss. Death entered slipping through the half-open window, heralded by the thunder and unwonted storm of a July morning, and I took cover in life’s shade and and have cherished forever your bewildered gaze, your skin’s extreme pallor, your exhausted hands lying beneath aseptic sheets. Death presented itself without knocking at the door and I was able to make a space for it amid my ribs, not very far from my heart, where there is still the echo of her voice singing the song, Qué grande que viene el río, qué grande se va a la mar, while my blood beats impatiently, furiously, with an unshakable longing for life.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Residència per a la gent gran

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Obries de bat a bat
els porticons de fusta de la casa del poble
i ens cridaves a taula.
Eres forta i bonica com un arbre
i els nens del veïnat s’enrojolaven
si els tocaves la galta amb un sol dit
i els regalaves caramels de menta
―feies olor d’espígol
i duies vestits d’estiu
esquitxats de flors vermelles.

Ya, pues, vamos para casa.
Torno a enfilar mentides blanques
―Mañana, mamá, mañana―
mentre embotones i desembotones
el mateix trau de la camisa
una vegada i una altra
sense mirar-me.
I oblides l’alumini blanc
de les finestres d’avui,
que només s’obren endins.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Residence

englisch

You would throw wide open
the wooden shutters of the house in the village
and you’d call us to the table.
You were strong and lovely as a tree
and the kids in the neighbourhood would blush
if you stroked their cheek with one finger
and you’d give them peppermint sweeties
– you smelled of lavender
and used to wear summer dresses
dotted with scarlet flowers.

Ya, pues, vamos para casa.
I go on stringing white lies together
―Mañana, mamá, mañana―
while you button and unbutton
the same buttonhole in your blouse
over and over
without looking at me.
And you forget the white aluminium
window-frames of today,
which only open inwards.

Translated by Anna Crowe

I no va quedar res de mi

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Et miro avui i aquest és el vertigen:
que tot el que tu eres
s’engrunés aquells dies pels camins de l’aigua.
Que a l’arribada al port de Barcelona
ja no quedés res de tu
―de la teva bellesa d’ulls verds i pell pigada,
la teva força,
la teva-nostra sang indígena.
Y no quedó nada de mí.
Què hi ha encara de tu, mare,
després de l'oceà?
Hi ets?
Ets?
M’aboco a tu
i tot és aigua fonda,
aigua negra,
aigua cega.

Odio i estimo amb ràbia
l’Hades inclement que et va engolir i no et retorna.
Estimo i odio l’oceà
que et va partir en dos la vida.
I m’hi acosto i me n’allunyo,
eterna i absurda rissaga al port,
amb l'esperança infantil
de retornar-te el que ets
―la llum,
el verd,
la teva vida a punt d’obrir-se
com una papallona.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

And nothing of me was left

englisch

I look at you today and this is what makes me dizzy:
that everything you once were
should have crumbled, those days on water’s paths.
That on arrival at the port of Barcelona
there was now nothing left of you ―
of your beauty, your green eyes and freckled skin,
your strength,
that indigenous blood of yours-and-ours.
And nothing of me was left.
What still remains of you, mother,
after the ocean?
Are you there?
Are you?
I lean towards you
and it’s all deep water,
dark water,
sightless water.

I hate and love in my rage
the inclement Hades that swallowed you and does not give you up.
I love and hate the ocean
that cut your life in two.
And I draw near and draw back,
absurd, eternal seiche in the harbour,
in the childish hope
of giving back to you what you are ―
light,
greenness,
your life on the point of unfolding
like a butterfly.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Alzheimer

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

I avui que ja t’has mort
potser cent mil vegades,
et trobo pel carrer
i encara fas olor d’aquell sabó de mans,
de pa acabat de fer,
de cigarretes Sombra
fumades d’amagat al balcó de casa.
Et trobo i em somrius
i ja no vull saber
de quin color és la mort que em toca plorar avui
―quin bocinet de seny
se t’ha desprès de nit mentre dormies.
Et trobo i tens la veu
de les cançons antigues,
del cuídese, mijita,
del tapa’t, que fa fred.
I encara que hagis mort
cent mil una vegades
et trobo pel carrer
i sé que encara ets tu
darrere les arestes d’un altre camí cec
en el teu laberint sense fils d’Ariadna.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Alzeheimer's

englisch

And today when you’ve now died
maybe a hundred thousand times,
I meet you in the street
and you still smell of that hand soap,
of just-baked bread,
of Sombra cigarettes
smoked in secret on the balcony at home.
I meet you and you smile at me
and I don’t want to know
the colour of the death I have to weep today ―
what tiny scrap of reason
has been taken from you at night while you slept.
I meet you and your voice sounds
like those old songs,
that take care, little half-pint,
wrap up warm, it’s cold.
And although you’ve died
a hundred thousand times
I meet you in the street
and I know that you’re still you
behind the high walls of another cul-de-sac
in your labyrinth with no Ariadne’s thread.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Paraules (II)

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

Ja no saps quins són els colors de l'aigua.
Ho vols provar? Digues por i digues
hi ha paraules que roben cors
i digues
hi ha paraules que embruten cors,
i digues
naus cremades
i octubres plens de sang,
i arrisca't un poc més, digues
passadís d’absències teves
i por de no saber posar pedaços
i nois de pell suau i ulls bondadosos.
Crida mentre encara tinguis veu,
i no confiïs mai que respondrà cap eco.

Quan tornis a casa,
imagina el desig
com una pregunta immensa.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Words (II)

englisch

You no longer know what are the colours of water.
Do you want to try? Say fear and say
there are words that steal hearts
and say
there are words that make hearts dirty
and say
burnt boats
and Octobers drenched in blood,
and risk going further, say
passage full of your absence
and fear of not knowing how to mend something
and boys with soft skin and kind eyes.
Shout while you still have a voice,
and don’t rust any echo to answer.

When you go home,
imagine desire
like an enormous question.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Paraules (I)

katalanisch | Sònia Moll

I què has de fer si han tornat a fugir totes,
si s'han perdut altra vegada
per les quadrícules de la ciutat
i han arribat a la mar
i se les ha endut un mal oratge.
L’horitzó no és cap línia
i el silenci no és cap calma.
I ara que les vols no les demanis,
que no et volen elles per més que les cridis,
que diràs sang,
i por
i desig
i et ballaran burletes davant dels ulls,
i es riuran de tu i de la teva poca traça.

I tornaran a deixar-te a les fosques.

© Sònia Moll
aus: I Déu en algun lloc
Vic: Cafè Central i Eumo Editorial, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Words (I)

englisch

And what are you supposed to do if they’ve all run away,
if they’ve once again got lost
in the squares in the city’s grid
and have reached the sea
and been carried off by a bad storm.
The horizon is not a line
and the silence is not calm.
And now that you want them don’t ask for them,
for they don’t want you however much you call them,
for you’ll say blood,
and fear
and desire
and they’ll dance mockingly in front of your eyes,
and laugh at you and at your clumsiness.

And once again they’ll leave you in the dark.

Translated by Anna Crowe

També la roba

katalanisch | Cèlia Sànchez-Mústich

També la roba pot morir-se.
No de vella, sinó de jove.
Però no va ser la teva,
que es va morir. La teva, de roba,
continua viva, en una perxa
perduda en el mapa, en un cos adoptat
o en el meu armari esperant un frec lleu.
Va ser l’altra, la meva,
íntima, fràgil, negra, sedosa,
granat, transparent...
que es va morir.
Un dia el cos va dir-me
que la roba no acudia
a les seves cites.
Vaig mirar al calaix
i era allà,
tan menuda,
amb el cor aturat.

© Cèlia Sànchez-Mústich
aus: A l'hotel a deshora
Girona: Curbet, 2014
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio, 2019

Clothing too

englisch

Clothing too can die.
Not the clothing of old age, but of youth.
But it wasn't yours
that died. Yours, your clothing,
is still alive, on a coat-hanger
lost on the map, on a body adopted by another,
or in my wardrobe waiting to be gently stroked.
It was the other clothing, mine,
intimate, delicate, black, silken,
scarlet, transparent ...
that died.
One day my body told me
that the clothing wasn't turning up
at meetings.
I went to look in the drawer
and it was there,
so small,
its heart no longer beating.


Per trobar arrels

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Ve d’un món, corromput amb mots estranys
per segles de domini i de veïnatge,
que el fang ha anat tacant o s’ha empassat.
És d’una terra on tenen nom les cases,
on s’hereten motius sense cognoms.
Recorda encara un temps de fred de ferro,
de molls cremant, ansats, i torrapans,
d’ensulfatar, lligar, d’anar a fer llenya,
d’aviram a les gàbies de l’eixida.
Coneix tots els pedaços i els sargits,
i unes cançons d’infant que ningú sap.
Ara és com l’estranger en un país nou
que ningú entén quan diu els mots dels seus,
com el mut que demana caritat,
i vol els sots, les coses que va perdre.
Senglar que furga inútilment en fang
per trobar arrels.

© Moll
aus: Planisferi lunar
Moll, 2008
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

Looking for the roots

englisch

He comes from a world corrupted with strange words
through centuries of domination and neighbourhood,
which mud has spattered or swallowed up.
He comes from a land where the houses have names,
where nicknames are inherited without surnames.
He still remembers a time cold as is iron,
of burning fire-tongs, one-handled pots, toasting-forks,
of dusting with sulphate, tying up plants, going for kindling,
of poultry in caged runs in the back-yard.
He knows all the knacks of patching and darning clothes
and a handful of children’s songs that no one else knows.
Now he is like the stranger in a new country
whom no one understands when he utters the words of his own people,
like the dumb man who begs for charity,
and wants empty hollows, the things he has lost.
Wild boar jabbing futilely at mud
looking for roots.

Translated by Anna Crowe. Six Catalan Poets: Arc Publications, 2013

La poesia

katalanisch | Antònia Vicens

plana sobre
la vida fulgors d’altres mons
t’esclata als ulls també
estrelles
d’aigua eixugades a la cala
de la infantesa quan
retuts tornen
els àngels ja sense
sal sense ales i tu
intentes agafar-ne les ombres
penjalls als fils
d’estendre les paraules l’hora
que més voldries
revocar els morts que
et pugen per
les cames
baldament omplis
la nit
de colomes blanques tot
esperant
una espurna de foc
que t’encengui el poema.

© Antònia Vicens
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Poetry

englisch

hovers over
life bright flashes from other worlds
explode in your eyes and also
stars
of water that have dried in the cove
of childhood when
given back the angels
return now without
salt without wings and you
try to grasp their shadows
strips of skin on threads
to stretch out
the words the time
you would most like
to call back the dead
who climb up
your legs
even though you may fill
the night
with white doves while
waiting
for a spark of fire
that may kindle your poem

Translated by Anna Crowe
ILC, Dia mundial de la poesia 2017.

Tortugues

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Es feréstec i trist aquest so fosc:
les tortugues copulen al jardí.
S’escometen, i fugen, i s’atrapen,
intenten acoblar-se però els costa,
encara que la força dels seus gens,
un ímpetu ancestral que els bull endins,
desitja sobreviure-les, usar-les,
i els fa cremar la sang sota la closca.
L’escut del ventre topa amb la cuirassa,
i no es miren ni es troben la carn rèptil.
Fa soroll el plaer que els porta al risc
de quedar panxa enlaire i no tombar-se,
quietes i sense alè, cuites pel sol;
que el principi vital que mou l’espècie
ja s’ha perpetuat en l’individu.
És feréstec i trist aquest so fosc,
com els crits i els gemecs que fa la nit.

© 3 i 4 Edicions
aus: Principi de plaer
3i4 Edicions, 2007
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

Tortoises

englisch

It’s wild and sad, this dark sound:
the tortoises are mating out in the garden.
They rush at each other, and flee, and catch each other,
they try to couple but it’s difficult,
even though the strength of their genes,
an ancestral impulse that boils inside them,
wishes to survive them, wear them out,
and makes their blood burn beneath the shell.
The shield of their belly bumps against armour-plating,
and they don’t look at each other or encounter reptilian flesh.
Noise comes from the pleasure that brings the risk
of finding themselves belly-up and unable to right themselves,
motionless, without breath, burnt by the sun:
for the vital principle that impels the species
has already been perpetuated in the individual.
It’s wild and sad, this dark sound,
like the cries and groans that night makes.

Translated by Anna Crowe. Six Catalan Poets: Arc Publications, 2013.

La Cançó de la Francisqueta

katalanisch | Josep Maria de Sagarra

Si tens ulls de malcarada,
si tens llavis de festeig;
m’has dit que eres a l’entrada,
i jo et trobo al safareig.
Ai, Francisca delicada,
et veig i no et veig!

Dius que et fa la pell rasposa
la besada de l’oreig,
que olorant l’escabellosa
ja comences el basqueig.
Ai, Francisca primorosa,
et veig i no et veig!

Si a mi m’has dat la rosella,
amb un altre feu fresseig.
Mira que duu mala estrella
això de l’aiguabarreig!
Ai, Francisca, blanca i bella,
et veig i no et veig!

Set galans per medicina,
set galans per ‘nar a passeig!
Quina mala teranyina
has triat pel teu orneig.
Ai, Francisca galta fina,
et veig i no et veig!

Amor de paraula neta
ni mentir ni somiqueig;
ai que la cintura estreta,
ai que toca ‘nar a bateig!
Ai Francisca Francisqueta,
et veig i no et veig!

© Josep Maria de Sagarra
aus: Poesia
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Song to Francisqueta

englisch

Your eyes look sullen, discontented,
but your lips smile winningly;
you told me you’d be at the entrance
but I found you in the laundry.
Oh Francisca, I’m tormented,
I see you, you I cannot see!

You say it makes your skin feel rough,
the gentle kissing of the breeze;
to smell that sweet, disheveling touch
brings on a dizzying unease.
Oh Francisca, you’re too much,
I see you, you I cannot see!

Though to me you gave that flower,
with another you whisper secretly.
Bad luck comes, of this be sure,
when mud and water mingle, murky.
Oh Francisca, pale and fair,
I see you, you I cannot see!

Seven charms as medicine,
seven charms out on a spree!
What a nasty web to spin
and think it might enhance your beauty.
Oh Francisca, smooth of skin,
I see you, you I cannot see!

Love for speech that’s clear and honest
without lies, tears, trickery,
oh, how elegant, my wasp-waist,
oh, a christening I must see!
Oh Francisca, Francisqueta,
I see you, you I cannot see!

Translated by Anna Crowe

Cançó de taverna

katalanisch | Josep Maria de Sagarra

Al meu pare li vaig dir
que em cerques una fadrina
que em vingués justa per mi
ni molt aspre ni molt fina
perquè em feia galdiró,
estar sol m'era malura,
sortint de missa major
el mal aviat se'm cura.
Això rai!
El casament és un ai!

I ja em teniu festejant
i les velles se'n alarmen
la mossa em va agradar tant
que no poden separar-me'n.
(...)
i se'm fa l'ànima prima
quan al llit cerco repòs
el seu record se m'arrima.
Això rai!
Que és ben dolç aquest desmai!

M'he donat a l'aiguardent
la mossa plora que plora
li faig el primer present
no hi tocava de cap vora.
Quan l'hi he dut el collaret
del neguit era malalta,
ja no em fan calor ni fred
les besades a la galta.
Això rai!
La beguda em dóna esplai!

Ella té un color marcit
com una rosa que es passa.
El pare s'ha enfollonit,
el germà és tot amenaça.
De casa em treuen els dos
i el esperit és qui em governa
cues baixes com un gos
me'n anava a la taverna.
Això rai!
Amb el vi s'adorm l'esglai!

Ara ha trobat un fadrí
de molt bona companyia.
Si no s'acorda de mi
jo que hi penso nit i dia.
Companys de tavernejar
de veure'n les meves penes
em diuen: "si et va deixar
te'n queden moltes dotzenes".
Això rai!
I l'anyoro més que mai!

© Josep Maria de Sagarra
aus: Cançons de rem i de vela
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Drinking Song

englisch

I had a word with my father
and asked him if he’d try to find
a girl, neither coarse nor too refined,
one who’d suit me down to the ground,
because I was getting fat, rather,
and being alone was a bit of a blight,
but coming from High Mass I found
the evil was soon put right.
Easily done!
Marriage is one long moan!

And the old wives are all scandalised,
for now that I’ve made an offer,
the girl’s so pleasing to my eyes
that they have to prise me off her.
(...)
and my spirit is growing thin,
for when in bed I try to rest,
the thought of her comes sneaking in.
Easily done!
For it’s very sweet, this swoon!

I’ve taken to drinking spirits
and the lassie just weeps buckets,
but the very first time I made her a gift
she wouldn’t even touch it.
When I brought her that wee necklace,
she sulked for nearly a week,
and it kind of makes me restless,
all this kissing on the cheek.
Easily done!
When I’m drinking I have a bit more fun!

Her colour looks quite faded
like a rose that’s past its best,
her father has gone plumb crazy
and the brother is full of threats.
They threw me out on my neck
and since it’s the spirit that governs,
with my tail between my legs
I made my way to the tavern.
Easily done!
For banishing fright, wine’s the solution!

And now she’s found another lad
who keeps her good company;
that she doesn’t remember me is sad,
when I think of her night and day.
All my pals in the hostelry,
who can see I’m feeling sore,
tell me, «In spite of her treachery,
out there there are dozens more.»
Easily done!
I miss her more than anyone!

Translated by Anna Crowe

Cançó del capvespre

katalanisch | Josep Maria de Sagarra

Hi ha una vela enllà del mar,
h ha un ramat que ningú guarda,
pasturant l'herba a l'atzar
quan cau la tarda.

Darrera el matoll de bruc
sento la rata cellarda,
sento l'esquirol poruc
quan cau la tarda.

Sento l'estrella en el cel,
i en el turó l'olivada,
sento el sospir i el bruel
quan cau la tarda.

Sento la pena per dins
sento el neguit que m'esguarda,
sento perles i robis
quan cau la tarda.

Sento que els dies se'n van,
però l'angunia es retarda...
sento que l'enyoro tant,
quan cau la tarda!

© Josep Maria de Sagarra
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Song at dusk

englisch

There is a sail far out at sea,
there is a flock that no one calls
grazing the hill haphazardly,
as evening falls.

Behind a clump of purple heather
I hear the dormouse comb her tail,
I hear the squirrel’s timid chatter,
as evening falls.

Up in the sky I smell a star,
I smell the olive groves in the hills,
sighing and lowing fill my ears,
as evening falls.

I feel the pain that has me thirled,
I feel how care has me in thrall,
I sense the rubies and the pearls
as evening falls.

I feel the days that pass and go,
though anguish slows its pace and stalls...
and that is when I miss her so,
as evening falls!

Translated by Anna Crowe

Balada dels tres fadrins

katalanisch | Josep Maria de Sagarra

Són tres fadrins que han vingut a la vila,
porten les mules amb flors al pitral.
Canta el cucut, la calàndria refila.
Són tres fadrins que se’n van a l’hostal.

Diu el més gran: «La vestida de grana
aquella nit va llançar-me un clavell.»
Diu el mitjà: «La de pell de magrana
aquella nit em posà aquest anell.»

Diu el menut: «La vestida de seda,
oh quina fina besada de mel...!»
Ploren les ombres a dins la verneda,
hi ha un blau d’estrelles morint-se pel cel.

Passa la tarda serena i tranquil·la,
un nuvolet s’endormisca al penyal.
Els tres fadrins que han vingut a la vila
tenen l’amor allà dins de l’hostal.

Ja han arribat a la porta fent fressa,
amb tot el pit flamejant i revolt,
ja han arribat i els ha obert la mestressa
esporuguida i vestida de dol.

I diu el gran: «Què n’heu fet de la noia
que aquella nit va llançar-me un clavell?»
«L’hereu més ric li ofrenava la toia
i ara sols viu i respira per ell.»

I fa el mitjà: «La de pell de magrana
que em va posar aquest anell de claror?»
«Caputxineta, el seu cor encomana
a les cinc nafres de Nostre Senyor.»

I fa el menut: «La vestida de seda
que vaig besar-li la neu de les mans?»
«Pols adormit, ull serè i galta freda,
es va morir al dematí de Tots Sants!...»

Hi ha un gran silenci d’angúnia i espera;
crema a la llar una mica de foc,
s’eixuga els ulls l’endolada hostalera
i els tres fadrins van sortint poc a poc.

I diu la gent que enraona i vigila
sense comprendre la pena i el mal:
«Són tres fadrins que se’n van de la vila.
Són tres fadrins que han sortit de l’hostal...

© Josep Maria de Sagarra
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Ballad of the Three Lads

englisch

They are three lads who’ve come to the village,
their mules’ breast-harness with flowers pinned.
Cuckoo-song, lark-song with an edge.
They are three lads who make for the inn.

The oldest says: «The wench in scarlet
threw a carnation to me that night.»
The next : «The girl with skin like a pomegranate
slipped a ring on my finger that night.»

And the youngest: « The girl in a silken dress,
gave me a kiss that tasted of honey...!»
The alder-shadows weep their distress,
A blueness of starlight dies in the sky.

The afternoon passes, peaceful, serene,
a small cloud drowses, pinned to a stone.
The three young lads who have come to the town
are thinking of love as they come to the inn.

They knock at the door with shouts and commotion,
each with his heart unbridled and burning,
they are there at the door the good wife has opened,
who stands there trembling, dressed in deep mourning.

Says the eldest, «What have you done with the wench
who that night threw me a lovely carnation?»
«The richest young man gave her a whole bunch,
and she lives and breathes now for him, her passion.»

The next: «And the girl with skin like a pomegranate,
who slipped this bright ring that day on my hand?»
«She’s a Capuchin nun who entrusts her heart
to Our Lord and Saviour and His five wounds.»

The youngest: «The girl in the dress made of silk,
who allowed me to kiss her snowy white hands?»
«Dust, and at peace, her cheek cold as milk,
she died at daybreak, the Feast of All Saints.»

There is a great silence of anguish and yearning;
the fire in the chimney burns fitfully,
she wipes away tears, the good wife in mourning.
The three young lads walk slowly away.

And they say, the people who reason and watch,
without understanding the hurt and the pain,
«There are three lads who are leaving the village,
there are three lads who’ve come out of the inn.»

Translated by Anna Crowe

Quan siguis trista

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Contra W. B. Yeats

Quan siguis trista i grassa i ja no et mirin
els obrers en passar, i els pits et pengin,
i quan molt vella els néts no et reconeguin
el vesc dolç del teu cos, la pell de lliri

(que va atrapar tants homes, i una dona),
si els ensenyes les fotos, vora el foc,
no els parlis mai de mi, deixa’m a fora
del teu passat: furtiu d’un vedat clos.

No t’enyoris als llibres que vas viure
ni, pel que hauria estat, sentis cap pena:
ja no viuríem junts, no em parlaries,
ni hauries llegit mai aquest poema.

© Igitur
aus: Gent forastera
Igitur, 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

When you are sad

englisch

Alter W. B. Yeats

When you are sad and fat and workmen no longer
look at you as you pass, and your breasts droop,
and when you are ancient and the grandchildren fail
to recognise the sweet lure, the lily skin

(that caught so many men, and one woman),
when you show them the photos, beside the fire,
don’t speak to them of me, leave me out
of your past: a poacher in a walled reserve.

Don’t you be pining for the books you lived
or feel regret for all that might have been:
by then we’d no longer be together, you’d not
be speaking to me, nor ever have read this poem.

Translated by Anna Crowe. Six Catalan Poets: Arc Publications, 2013.

El mapa del tresor

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Et dius Eusebi Font Terrades
Vius al carrer Dr. Oliva i Prat
número 15 de Girona
Si no saps tornar a casa
pots trucar al 972603015
o al 619208330
i allà contestarà la teva filla
Em vas posar Gisela
Sempre tens per al cor una pastilla
a l’infern de l’abric
te la poses a sota de la llengua
No pateixis que tot s’arreglarà

© Meteora
aus: Post-its
Meteora, 2015
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

The treasure map

englisch

You are called Eusebi Font Terrades
you live at number 15
Dr Oliva i Prat Street, Girona
If you don’t know how to get home
you can ring 972603015
or 619208330
and your daughter will answer you there
You called me Gisela
you always carry a pill for your heart
in the inside pocket of your overcoat
and you place it beneath your tongue
Don’t worry because everything will work out fine.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Papiroflèxia

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

A quatre mans, anem plegant vaixells
de sécs senzills i imatge aproximada
a aquelles naus que de petits pintàvem.
Anem fent nits de flotes de paper
que llencem a la mar d’incertes vies.
Anem bufant les falses veles junts
per arribar a bon port sense naufragi.
Mentre anem oblidant tanta figura
inerta i singular, sense destí,
que els nostres dits han fet amb el seu art,
seguim plegant vaixells i els confiem
la nostra traça, i la rosa dels vents.

© Viena
aus: Circumstàncies adverses
Viena, 2011
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

Origami

englisch

With our four hands we set about folding vessels
from simple creases and roughly the shape
of those ships we used to paint when small.
We set about making nights from paper fleets
we launch into a sea of dubious shipping-lanes.
We go blowing together on the pretend sails
to arrive at a safe haven without being wrecked.
And while we go on forgetting so much of lifeless
and peculiar and purposeless design,
which our fingers fashioned with their art,
we continue to fold vessels and entrust them
with this plan of ours, and the compass-rose.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Per fer sentit

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

De ben petits, les tardes dels estius
perseguíem la vida que era esquerpa,
a sota els rocs, per entre les escletxes,
tornada sargantana per caçar.
Llavors vam descobrir que ens fugiria,
que havíem de ser vius i estar a l’aguait:
la paciència i l’enginy eren les armes,
i trepitjar amb una mà ferma i tova
el tresor que es movia a sota els dits.
Les caixes de sabates eren gàbies,
les fulles d’enciam i mosques mortes
el banquet rebutjat pel pobre saure,
que un dia apareixia mort i flàccid
de panxa enlaire amb el seu ventre clar.
El gat de casa sempre era més murri
per atrapar-la amb una sola pota,
marxant altiu amb la presa a la boca.
Però els seus danys eren més greus que els nostres:
deixava un tros de cua retorçant-se. 
Ara hi ha gent que no troba el seu lloc,
i a mi, per dins, se’m remouen paraules
buscant un tot perdut, algun context,
per fer sentit.

© Moll
aus: Planisferi lunar
Moll, 2008
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

In order to make sense

englisch

From the time when we were very young, on summer afternoons
we went in pursuit of life, wildlife,
under stones, among the cracks,
life become lizards to hunt.
Then we discovered that it would run away from us,
that we needed to be alert, on the qui vive:
patience and ingenuity were our weapons,
and grasping with a firm but gentle hand
the treasure wriggling between our fingers.
Shoe boxes were cages,
vine leaves and dead flies
the banquet refused by the poor saurian,
who one day lay limp and dead
on its back with pale belly upward.
Our cat was always much more cunning
able to catch it with a single paw,
and would walk proudly along with his prey in his mouth.
But the damage he inflicted was much heavier than ours:
he used to leave a stump of tail still twisting about.
Now there are people who cannot find their place,
and as for me, there are words shifting about
searching for a lost whole, some context,
in order to make sense.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Ocells de febrer

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Una fletxa d’ocells clavant-se al cel
hauria estat pel bard antic l’auguri
d’aquells petits i obscurs errors a témer
quan els déus descendeixen per jutjar.
El trobador n’hauria fet l’anècdota
del seu impuls poètic del bon temps.
La lírica romàntica un patètic
símbol del pas dels anys irredimible.
I l’autor postmodern hi veu la imatge
d’humana lleugeresa i inconsistència,
de tanta vida fora d’un mateix.
Aquests ocells, però, no són de lluny,
no són grues, ni ànecs ni cigonyes,
fan niu a prop, enmig de camps i boscos,
i aviat la formació d’ordre inexacte
es fon amb un estol que voltoneja
excitat i convuls cases enllà.
Són gavians argentats per sobre el cel
no pas d’un mar després de la tempesta,
ni d’un port quan retornen les barcasses,
sinó d’un gran abocador pudent.
Rates de mar abans, són carronyers
d’un món que es llença en munts d’escombraries.
Definitivament han emigrat
de l’àmbit natural que els pertanyia,
de la vida cruel, incerta, dura,
cap a un constant estat del benestar
on la dieta és menys fresca i més segura,
i on poden perdre el temps en barallar-se
-sense raó aparent, potser per tedi-
pel cos buit d’una nina sense cap.

© 3 i 4 Edicions
aus: Principi de plaer
3i4Edicions, 2007
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

February birds

englisch

An arrow of birds piercing the sky
might have meant for a bard of old an omen
of those small, obscure mistakes to be feared
when the gods come down to pass judgement.
The troubadour would have made of it the foretelling,
with his poetic impulse, of fine weather.
The romantic lyricist a pathetic symbol
of the irredeemable passing of the years.
And the postmodern writer sees in it the image
of human levity and inconsistency,
of so much life outside the self.
These birds, however, are not from far away,
they are neither cranes nor ducks nor storks,
they nest nearby, in the middle of fields and woods,
and soon this formation of haphazard shape
mingles with a throng that circles
in convulsive excitement a few houses away.
They are gulls, made silvery by the light above them,
not from the sea in the wake of a storm,
nor from a port when the ferries dock,
but from an enormous stinking refuse-tip.
Former sea-rats, they are the carrion-eaters
of a world thrown away in mountains of rubbish.
They have emigrated for good and all
from the natural environment they once belonged to,
from a life that was cruel, uncertain and hard
to a constant state of well-being
where the diet is less fresh and more certain,
and where they waste their time quarrelling
for no apparent reason, except perhaps boredom,
over the hollow body of a headless doll.

Translated by Anna Crowe

La una

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

En Joan sempre seu al seu balcó,
porta boina i la roba que li donen,
i crida a aquells que passen i el coneixen,
els atura i pregunta cap a on van,
amb els mateixos mots: -Ara tu, què faràs?
I veus que sempre li respons igual,
maquinalment, sense importància, tan
banal és la resposta com la vida
que atribuïm a qui no pot pensar,
i fins i tot el seny l’ha deixat sol.
Després allarga el braç per ensenyar-te
el seu rellotge i retenir-te allí,
i convertir-te en osca al tall del temps
sempre uniforme, fi, esmolat, continu.
I sempre li demanes quina hora és,
com faries a un nen, per simpatia,
matí, migdia o vespre, i et respon
«La una».
Dius que és tard, i vas o tornes
cap a casa, segur que ja ha oblidat
tot el que li hauràs dit, tot lamentant
el llarg present on viu, sense saber 
del cert si el seu rellotge està parat
sempre a la una, si creu realment
que tot pertany a un llarg moment perpetu,
si són les nostres busques les que marxen
massa enganyosament per una esfera,
mentre giren els astres damunt nostre.

© Bromera
aus: Prínceps Blaus
Bromera , 2007
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

One o'clock

englisch

Joan is always seated on his balcony,
wearing a beret and whatever clothes he’s been given,
and calls out to those passers-by who know him,
he stops them and asks where they’re going,
with the same words – You, now, what are you up to? –
And you realise that you always give the same answer,
replying automatically, carelessly,
the answer as banal as the life
we attribute to one who cannot reason,
since even reasonaing has left him on his own.
Afterwards, he stretches out his arm to show you
his watch and detain you there,
turn you into a notch that he cuts
in the passing of time ever uniform, thin, worn, continuous.
And you always ask him what time it is,
as you would ask a child, to be kind,
morning, noon or night, and he replies
«One o’clock.»

Translated by Anna Crowe

Prínceps blaus

katalanisch | Jordi Julià i Garriga

Al final vas aprendre a fer l’amor
amb gent que no estimaves, i a estripar
les històries d’amor de tots els contes
que encara alguna tarda desvagada
et portava a llegir, i que somiaves.
Ara ja fa molt temps del primer cop
aquell, i estàs a punt d’anar-te a viure
amb un home que expliques que et fa riure,
que cuina per a tu, que sap partir-se
un bon vi negre, i que diu que et comprèn.
T’has decidit al llarg de moltes nits
que has buscat prínceps blaus en els servents
que hauran aconseguit fer-te sentir
com una reina o una ventafocs.
Els palaus no són tals, i les carrosses
no portaven enlloc: cap a les cambres
d’algun hotel barat, o potser als pisos
que no vas visitar gaires cops més.
Qui hauries desitjat que et despertés
amb un petó t’ha deixat adormida,
i has escapat descalça d’aquells prínceps
que han volgut emprovar-te una sabata.
Avui que no preguntes al mirall
qui és la més maca, i que no creus en cignes
sinó en ànecs salvatges, et conformes,
per ara, que demà qui sap què passa.
Al final vas aprendre a fer l’amor
amb aquell home amb qui ara véns a viure.

© Bromera
aus: Prínceps blaus
Bromera , 2007
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio / 2018

Prince charmings

englisch

In the end you learned to make love
to people you didn’t love, and to tear out
the love stories from all the fairy tales
which some idle afternoon you were still
led to read, and which you dreamed about.
It’s a very long time now since that first
instance, and you’re about to go and live
with a man who, you explain, makes you laugh,
who cooks for you, who knows how to crack open
a good red wine, and who tells you he understands you.
You made up your mind in the course of many nights
that you were looking for Prince Charmings in the servants
who will have managed to make you feel
like a queen or a Cinderella.
Palaces are not palaces, and coaches
don’t carry you anywhere: just to the rooms
of some cheap hotel, or maybe to apartments
you have scarcely ever been back to.
The one you would have longed for to wake you
with a kiss has left you asleep,
and you have run away barefoot from those princes
who wanted to try you on for shoe-size.
Today, not asking the mirror
who is the fairest, and not believing in swans
but rather in wild ducks, you’re content
for now, to let tomorrow take care of itself.
In the end you learned to make love
to that man you are now coming to live with.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Calia un cos

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

Calia un cos, com l’urna per a les cendres
perquè no es dispersessin,
perquè no es fonguessin amb les cendres dels mars, dels arbres,
dels altres.
Perquè quan la mà anés a tocar hi hagués la mà
i fos d’algú.
Perquè els vius no fossin els morts
i els morts haguessin existit.
Perquè no es pogués optar per no ser res.
Perquè en la foscor la mirada anés cap a fora
i a fora hi hagués terra i estrelles.
Calia un cos però per a contenir no sé què.

© Teresa Colom
aus: On tot és vidre
Lleida: Pagès, 2009
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

A body was missing

englisch

A body was missing, as was the urn for the ashes
so that they might not be scattered,
so that they might not merge with the ashes of seas, of trees,
of other people.
So that when the hand reached out to touch, the hand might be there
and belong to someone.
So that the living might not be the dead
and the dead might have existed.
So that nothing can opt not to be.
So that in the darkness the gaze might travel outwards
and outside there might be earth and stars.
A body was missing to hold I know not what.

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Parets

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

carregues un pot de pintura
hi enfonses la brotxa
alces el braç l’estens fins a la paret
deixes el pot a terra tens feina
just abans del teu gest on ara hi ha un ocre
hi tenies la calota
i encara et preguntes si les parets existeixen
i qui les aixeca

© Teresa Colom
aus: La meva mare es preguntava per la mort
Lleida: Pagès, 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Walls

englisch

you are carrying a pot of paint
you dip the big brush in it
you raise your arm and stretch out to the wall
you put the pot on the ground you have a job to do
just before this movement where there is now ochre
is where the crown of your head was
and you’re still asking yourself if walls exist
and who puts them up. 

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

La lluna i la primavera

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

no escrivim sobre la mort només sobre la vida
els morts no escriuen
com tampoc el pollastre que ara és a la cassola
coneixia la recepta
vers rere vers escric sobre la vida
ho podria fer sobre la lluna els ocells o la primavera
però amb el terra el cel i els dies que vindran conformo una capsa
i quan els ocells la primavera o els plaers
aconsegueixen distreure’m
encara que siguin musa de poetes
trio no escriure

© Teresa Colom
aus: La meva mare es preguntava per la mort
Lleida: Pagès, 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

The Moon and Spring

englisch

we don’t write about death only about life
the dead do not write
just as the chicken that's now in the pot
didn't know the recipe
line after line I write about life
I could do the same about the moon or birds or spring
but with the ground the sky and the days to come I make a box
and when the birds the spring or pleasures
manage to distract me
poets’ muse though they may be –
I choose not to write. 

 

Translated by Anna Crowe. La traductière - Revue franco-anglaise de poésie et art visuel, 28. Du poétique à la poésie.

Cançó de vell

katalanisch | Josep Carner

Hi ha una fina flama
que hom sent i no veu;
em deixa i em torna
i em fuig i m’atreu.

Quan tinc son, fa veure
que em vol defugir,
i quan ja somio
resta prop de mi

Fa a trenc d’alba: -Lleva’t
i oreja la llar;
l’univers que et volta
et somia encara.

Doncs, per tal comanda,
oh mon cor sublim,
prenguem paciència
que encara vivim.

© Raimon Bergós lawyer’s office
aus: Lligam
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Old Man’s Song

englisch

There is a slender flame
a man feels but does not see;
it leaves me then returns
fleeing and pulling me.

When I drowse, it’s clear
it has no wish to bide,
and yet when I am dreaming
it stays close by my side.

– Get up, it says – at daybreak –
let fresh air in your home;
the universe around you
still wraps you in its dream.

And so, from such an ordinance,
o heart of mine sublime,
let us accept with patience
that we are still alive.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Els pollancs de França

katalanisch | Josep Carner

Pollancs de la França devora els camins,
pollancs de les prades, pollancs dels jardins,
s’acosten, s’allunyen per cada costat,
n’hi ha que travessen o fan un quadrat.

És Déu qui els amoixa i és Déu qui els empeny:
tots duen un ordre, tots tenen un seny.
Cloent les quintanes hi serven tresors,
fent via amb qui passa li donen esforç.

Un d’alt s’encimbella, primer dels primers;
dos, febles, s’atansen i proven el bes.
D’obscura fontana tres miren el clot:
adoren la menta i el seu brumerot.

I tots, com la boira lleugers en el vent,
fan dolça la terra i el cel més atent
-la terra solcada d’ombreig benestant
i el cel, amb sos núvols de borra brillant-.
Triomf de l’altura, plaer d’un racó,
ells són sentinelles en tot horitzó.

I fins si la França fos tota pecat,
encar vetllarien l’honor del passat,
emblemes on frisen les velles virtuts,
més alts que les llances dels dies perduts.

I, amics graciosos del Somni Diví,
cada un serva un àngel que l’home traí,
i en rengs que s’adiuen com versos rimats
van junts a la missa i a fer de soldats.

© Raimon Bergós lawyer’s office
aus: Poesia
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

The Poplars of France

englisch

All along highways the poplars of France,
poplars in meadows or among garden-plants,
all around they recede or else they come near,
with some of them crossing, some making a square.

God gives them a pat, or a shove from behind:
they all march in order, they all have a mind.
Enclosing the fields, their treasures they tend,
making way for the traveller and lending their strength.

A tall one soars skyward and takes pride of place,
two weaker ones lean as they try to embrace.
Gazing down at a dark hidden spring there are three:
its mint they adore, and its bumblebee.

And all of them, light as the mist in the wind,
will sweeten the earth, make the heavens more kind –
the soil with its furrows of shady well-being,
the sky with its clouds of bright down, ever fleeing.
The triumph of tallness, delight of a corner,
along the horizon they stand, guards of honour.

And even if France by sin was disgraced,
still they’d watch over the honour of the past,
emblems of virtues of old in a frieze,
and taller than lances of those ancient days.

And, gracious companions of the Divine Mind,
each one serves an angel betrayed by mankind,
and in ranks that pair up like rhyming verse,
they march off to mass, as though they were soldiers.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

De la Vila del Vendrell

katalanisch | Josep Carner

A Jaume Carner


Adéu, vila regalada,
adéu, vila del Vendrell,
que fas una olor mesclada
de garrofa i vi novell.

Vibren cases blanquinoses,
sota el dia solellós;
beuen les eugues, calmoses,
en els vells abeuradors.

Cremen marges i vessanes;
les veremes seran bones,
fa l'abella, zumzejant.

I encabides en tartanes,
a berenes van les dones,
cap a mar, sotraquejant.

© Raimon Bergós lawyer’s office
aus: Lloc
Audio production: Biblioteca de Catalunya

On the Town of Vendrell

englisch


                                for Jaume Carner

Farewell, city of gifts,
farewell, Vendrell of mine,
through whose streets there wafts
the smell of carob and young wine.

In the sun’s fierce light
a shimmer of whitewashed houses;
the mares stand drinking, quiet,
at the old watering-places.

With sun-scorched fields and rigs
the grape-harvest will be good –
the buzzing song of the bee.

And squeezed into carts and gigs
the women with their picnic food
go jolting down to the sea.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Madrigal a Sitges

katalanisch | Josep Carner

O Sitges, cel i calitges,
mar al peu, clavells al niu,
blanc d’Espanya que enlluerna
les espurnes de l’estiu.

Cor que vols, cor què desitges
en tu visc, que tota em plaus.
Tes noies tenen ulls negres,
les cases tenen ulls blaus.

Si jo et deixo sols a mitges
dóna’m una flor ben lleu:
dóna’m una margarida,
ull de sol, ales de neu.

© Raimon Bergós lawyer’s office
aus: Poesia
Audio production: Biblioteca de Catalunya

A Madrigal to Sitges

englisch

O Sitges, sky and mists,
sea below, pinks on the dresser,
lime-washed walls so white they dazzle
the sparkling summer.

A heart you want, heart, what do you wish,
I live in you, you please me, every part of you.
Your daughters’ eyes are black,
the houses’ eyes are blue.

If I leave you even for just one night
give me a humble flower before I go:
give me a little marguerite,
the sun at its heart, and wings of snow.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

El freu

katalanisch | Pere Quart

¿Encara s’esbadellen les albes lluny de mi
en el país feliç a on mena
un paorós camí,
sense rodera ni petjada lleu,
com d’aigua tèrbola i serena?

Jo, mentrestant, travesso el freu,
peu nu dins una barca que s’emplena
d’aigua tenyida per la sang
dels qui sofriren sense pensament
d’amor ni d’odi la darrera pena,
guerrers de rostre blanc
entre l’atzar i l’espavent,
només amb l’arma del lament.

Tota la nit dintre mos ulls oberts
a estels inerts, a llunes foses,
a sols extints camí d’albes moroses,
a inferns glaçats temps ha deserts,
a tanta nit, a tanta llum nonada,
a tanta mort a nova mort damnada.

Les ombres moren i reculen vers
l’ombra les clares vides.
Oh, blau, oh blau pretès
vivent només en les humanes crides,
indeleble i suau com el no-res!

© Pere Quart
aus: Saló de tardor
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

The Strait

englisch

Do mornings go on blossoming far-off
in that contented country you can find
only by taking a road fearful and rough,
with no imprint or footstep light,
as with waters that are muddy and kind.

Meantime I am crossing the strait,
barefoot in a boat that fills
with water stained by the blood
of those who suffered pain that kills
without a thought of hate or love,
white-faced warriors
caught between blind fate and terrors,
with only their grief to act as barricade.

All night long, my eyes were open wide
on lifeless comets, on fused moons,
on extinct suns on roads to gloomy dawns,
on frozen hells that time has thrown aside,
on so much night, on so much light aborted,
on so much death, to yet more death deported.

The shadows die and brighter lives
recoil into the twilight.
Oh blue, oh longed-for blueness
alive only in human cries,
indelible and soft as nothingness.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Porc

katalanisch | Pere Quart


Em cal un règim per a amagrir.
La pell em tiba, panteixo massa.
No em moc de casa, menjo a desdir:
és clar, m'engreixo com un garrí,
--allò que passa.

Però, ara sí:
poques segones, gens de carbassa
i les cent passes cada matí.

Ja tothom parla de Sant Martí!

© Pere Quart
aus: Bestiari
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Pig

englisch

I need a diet to make me thinner.
My skin is tight, I gasp and pant.
I don’t go out, eat too much dinner:
I’m just like a piglet, putting on fat,
– that’s what happens.

But now, oh yes:
no more second helpings, or pumpkins
and every morning a hundred paces.

Now everyone’s talking of Martinmas!

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Conill

katalanisch | Pere Quart

Conill, per què tems el temps?
La pineda està tranquil.la
i tanmateix mous ensems
musell, orella i pupil·la.

--Escolto la veu dels pins,
flairo l'oratge que em fibla
i esguardo vers els camins
de la ciutat invisible
on homes de cor mesell
desengreixen el fusell
que fa aquell pet tan terrible.

© Pere Quart
aus: Bestiari
Audio production: Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya

Rabbit

englisch

Rabbit, why do you fear the weather?
The pinewood here is peaceful
and yet, twitching all together,
are nose and ear and pupil.

– I listen to the pine trees’ moan
I smell the thunder’s wrath
and I look towards the paths
that lead to the unseen town
where men whose hearts are stained
take down and clean the gun
that makes that terrifying sound.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

L'esperança

katalanisch | Jordi Llavina i Murgadas

Saps que has perdut les últimes jugades,
però la sort del viure és un arcà.
I és com quan dius que tens les mans tallades
i no és sinó la pell, la que ho està.
Ferest de mena, esquiu, germà dels pobres,
que mai no saben on es llevaran.
Ara et sents l’ésser nu, i reculls les sobres
del que has sigut, bé que no en fas cap plant.
Que ets, més que mai, les teves mans, i pell
per escalfar-te al foc, i el goig d’escriure.
¿Veus, al mirall, un aprenent de vell?
També és la imatge d’un esperit lliure.
Un cor bregós va fer-te, i l’esperança
—allò que sempre és lluny i se t’atansa.

© Jordi Llavina
aus: Matí de la mort
Audio production: Radio Vilafranca

Hope

englisch

You know you have lost the last few hands,
but in life, luck is a mystery.
And it is like when you say that your hands are split
and it is not just the skin that is split.
Brutish by manner, slippery, a brother of the poor,
Those who never know where they will awake.
Now you feel a naked existence, and you collect the leftovers
from what you have been, despite never doing a eulogy.
You are, more than ever, your hands, and skin
to warm yourself by the fire, along with the joy of writing.
Do you see, in the mirror, an old man in training?
It is also the image of a free spirit.
A bellicose heart made you, along with hope
—that which is always far and is approaching.

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Tens set, i beus

katalanisch | Jordi Llavina i Murgadas

Tens set, i beus, 
però és la mort, de fet, qui beu en tu: 
tu ets el seu bot, i ets el seu vi. 
Tens gana, menges,
i no és sinó la mort qui menja en tu: 
tu ets el seu plat, i la seva pitança.
Quan fas l’amor, també és la mort 
qui viu l’instant de goig,
lluny de la seva eternitat estèril:
tu ets el seu cor, ets el seu cos,
la mort vesteix la teva pell.
I, quan recordes qui vas ser temps ha,
és sols la mort qui fa memòria.

La mort, però, no que no pot escriure.

© Jordi Llavina
aus: Matí de la mort
Audio production: Radio Vilafranca

You are thirsty and you drink

englisch

You are thirsty and you drink,
but it is, in fact, death which drinks in you:
you are its flagon and you are its wine.
You are hungry, you eat,
and it is, in fact, death which eats in you:
you are its platter and its fodder.
When you make love, it is also death
who lives in the moment of joy,
far from your sterile eternity:
you are its heart, its body,
death wears your skin.
And, when you remember who you were in times past,
it is death alone who is the memory.

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Roses

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

el venedor pakistanès ofereix roses tristes
els clients del restaurant li giren la cara i interposen la mà
l’home de camisa blanca cabell negre i pell llunyana
els destorba
entra en un bar de copes on els combinats estoven les parelles
i ven sis roses
roses captaires que accepten la voluntat
les cuines tanquen els aparcaments es buiden
recolzat a la persiana d’un local encara tebi
llisca fins a la vorera
la lluna tampoc duu monedes
i en el silenci de la matinada
espera escoltar les passes d’una parella
que no temi obrir la cartera enmig del Raval
i li compri les darreres roses
abans que morin sense sentir-se flors

© Teresa Colom
aus: La meva mare es preguntava per la mort
Lleida: Pagès , 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Roses

englisch

the Pakistani vendor holds out dejected roses
the customers in the restaurant turn away and ward him off with a raised hand
the man in the white shirt with black hair and foreign skin
disturbs them
he goes into a bar where the cocktails soften the couples drinking
and sells six roses
beggar roses that bow to any wish
the kitchens are closing and the car-parks are empty
leaning against the shutter of premises that are still warm
he slides down on to the pavement
the moon has no coins either
and in the silence of early morning
he waits listening out for the footsteps of any couple
who might not be afraid to open their wallet in the middle of the Raval
and who might buy his last few roses
before they die without having felt they were flowers. 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Fascicles

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

Si la meva mare obria la porta a algú
que oferia calendaris o postals a canvi d’un donatiu,
es disculpava: “la senyora no és a casa”.
Però una tarda va venir un venedor d’enciclopèdies
i el va deixar passar.
El venedor d’enciclopèdies va seure
a la taula del menjador, davant la mare i jo.
Va començar el discurs elogiant la nostra
“important col·lecció d’enciclopèdies”.
Jo no mostrava interès però ella —mare de set fills—,
que sempre en va dur a un o altre a coll i mai llegia, sí.
La “important col·lecció d’enciclopèdies”
no s’ha mogut de lloc.
No sé si la meva mare treu la pols entre els volums
o si passa pels lloms de la z cap a la a d’un sol cop de drap.
El pis està ple de fotografies.
No li molesta que hi surtin persones amb qui no es parla.
No sé si perquè accepta que són part d’ella
o perquè estan acompanyades d’altres a qui estima.
Una llar decorada amb objectes de poc valor.
Quan els germans ens hi reunim, fa broma:
“Quan no hi sigui, ho llençareu tot!”.
Riem i li diem que sí.
Les enciclopèdies les va comprar en fascicles.
Les hi guardo en aquest vers.

© Teresa Colom
aus: Inèdit
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Instalments

englisch

If my mother opened the door to someone
who was offering calendars or postcards in exchange for a donation
she would apologise: «The lady of the house isn’t in».
But one afternoon there came someone selling encyclopaedias
and she let him in.
The seller of encyclopaedias sat down
at the dining-room table, opposite my mother and me.
He began his spiel by praising our
«important encyclopaedia collection».
I showed no interest, but she – a mother of seven children – ,
who was always carrying one of us around and never read a book, did.
The «important encyclopaedia collection»
has never moved from its place.
I don’t know whether my mother dusts between the volumes
or if she swishes over the spines from z to a with a single flick of her duster.
The flat is full of photographs.
It doesn’t bother her that they show people that we don’t speak to.
I don’t know if it’s because she accepts that they’re a part of her
or because they’re accompanied by others whom she loves.
A home decorated with objects of little value.
When my brothers and sisters are all here, she jokes:
«When I’m not here you’ll throw it all away!»
We laugh and tell her we shall.
She bought the encyclopaedias in instalments.
I keep them here in this line of the poem.

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Foc

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

la meva mare es preguntava per la mort
mentre esquarterava un pollastre
jo que no passava dels fogons li vaig dir
“sentiràs el mateix que ell”
ara tinc la seva edat
i m’inquieta tant el foc com la caixa
només quan penso com abans que m’eduquessin
trobo absurda la por de la clausura i de les flames

© Teresa Colom
aus: La meva mare es preguntava per la mort
Lleida: Pagès, 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Fire

englisch

My mother was wondering about death
while cutting a chicken into quarters
I was in a bad mood and replied
«you’ll feel exactly the same as the chicken»
now I am her age
and the fire worries me as much as the coffin
only when I think the way I did before they taught me
do I find it absurd to be afraid of being enclosed and the flames. 

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Puntades

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

                                                a la meva mare

un dia et llegiré a la vora d’uns pantalons
que ja no em poso
a tu que m’escrius notes als pots
de salsa de tomàquet
tancats al bany maria
on m’hi detalles els ingredients
un dia t’hi llegiré
darrere tantes coses senzilles
hi ha el teu temps

© Teresa Colom
aus: La meva mare es preguntava per la mort
Lleida: Pagès, 2012
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

Stitches

englisch

                                                            To my mother

One day I will read you in the hem of some trousers
that I no longer wear
you who write me notes on the pots
of tomato purée
their lids screwed tight in the bain-marie
where you give me in detail the ingredients
one day I will read you there
behind so many simple things
there is the time you spent.

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Un lleó sembla un lleó

katalanisch | Teresa Colom

Un lleó sembla un lleó.
Una aranya sembla una aranya.
Però des del darrere dels ulls d’un home et pot estar mirant qualsevol.

M’han dit paraules
que se m’han cargolat al coll i m’han serpentejat entre els cabells.
Sovint he semblat més feliç que no era.
Els somriures atrauen el verí de les serps.

© Teresa Colom
aus: On tot és vidre
Lleida: Pagès, 2009
Audio production: Catalunya Ràdio

A lion looks like a lion

englisch

A lion looks like a lion.
A spider looks like a spider.
But from behind a man’s eyes anything can be looking at you.

They have said to me words
that have coiled round my neck and slithered through my hair.
Often I have seemed happier than I was.
Smiling attracts the snakes’ venom.

 

Translated by Anna Crowe.

Cant espiritual

katalanisch | Carles Rebassa

Whisky, et demanam. Whisky! I tu,
senyor, ens dónes aigua. I, a més, ets
molt adorat per alcohòlics vius
que beuen brou perquè pertot fan aigua.
Whisky, vatuadell, et demanam.
Deixa’ns estar, de por i de medecina,
i ja desapareix d’un cop del món.
No et multipliquis més. No tinguis sexe
amb els aŀlots perduts de matinada
ni amb les nenes que s’enyoren d’aires
càlids i sensuals, desconeguts.
Decanta’t de la nostra llum. I prou aigua,
et demanam. Whisky, et demanam.
Fes que la terra es desfaci del cel
i arrabassa els dos ulls de viu en viu
als qui han perdut i menyspreen la terra.
Aquests són els qui et preguen la teva aigua.
Whisky, et demanam. Whisky! I tu,
senyor, ens dónes aigua. Beu-te-la tu.

aus: Els joves i les vídues
Edicions 62, 2006
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2010

Spiritual song

englisch

Whisky is what we ask for. Whisky! And you,
Lord, give us water. On top of that, you’re
fawned upon by real alcoholics
hitting the booze because they’re drowning.
Whisky, dammit, is what we ask for.
Leave us alone, enough of fear and remedies,
and now, quit the world once and for all.
Don’t procreate. Don’t have sex
with stray boys in the small hours
nor with the girls who yearn for warm
and sensual airs they’ve never known.
Keep out of our light. And no more water,
is what we ask for. Whisky is what we ask for.
Let the earth free itself from heaven,
and gouge out the eyes while they’re alive
from those who’ve lost the earth and who despise it.
These are the ones who pray to you for water.
Whisky is what we ask for. Whisky! And you,
Lord, give us water. Drink it yourself.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Els polítics

katalanisch | Carles Rebassa

Polítics…, els polítics…, ecs! Polítics!
Fètids limfàtics, pútrids i patètics,
catòlics, blufs, acòlits, bords, sulls, ètics
amb tics de trol i cervells paralítics.
Per bé de Déu són onanistes mítics,
i amb bans i antulls corruptes i mimètics
omplen de sang de dorments esquelètics
el món dels pobles, oh, tísics polítics.

Són policies, porcells antipàtics,
bacallaners, titellots irrisoris
amb sang de serp, orgasmes automàtics
i sulls ventrells, greix de còctels, casoris…
Poble, allibera’ns d’aquests rucs fanàtics,
torna’ls al sòl i pren els consistoris!

© Carles Rebassa
aus: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2010

Politicians

englisch

Politicians…, yuk! They suck, they’re muck, those men of politics!
Malodorous lymphatics; putrescent parenthetics,
Pecksniffs, louts, and catholics, consumptive humbugs, clever-dicks,
troll-look-alikes with tics (and ticks), and brains made from synthetics.
God be praised, they’ve got degrees, a first in onanistics,
their notices are full of crap, their cravings coarse mimetics
and they fill with blood they’ve sucked from skeletons who died of rickets,
o tubercular town-clerks, the little world of village politics.

They’re coppers, noses in the trough, they’re hogwash orgiasatics,
they’re blow-job clients, stink of fish, gross puppets with no balls,
their blood’s herpetic, orgasm is an act of mere smegmatics,
they’re sneering, bumptious, guts blown-out with wedding-cake and highballs.
People, arise and free us from such asinine fanatics,
dig a great pit, and throw them in, and occupy the townhalls!

Translated by Anna Crowe

Arnau

katalanisch | Carles Rebassa

No és lluny, el present nou que es forja,
sinó en les seves mans, les cuixes,
la redempció dins els seus ulls.
Són càmeres de vigilància, aquests ulls:
et filmen, destrien, t’estimen
o t’arraconen en un no mai més,
i mai no fas més flor dins d’ell.
No es tracta de ser tu ni, ja ho he dit,
de la llavor infinitesimal
de ser particular; de ser,
tan sols… Tan sols no cal ésser llavor,
però si plantes els teus ulls al seu somriure
o pintes un somriure entre els seus dits,
que pinten, invisibles,
ja no tindràs aquella sensació d’ofec,
de córrer tan descalç per sobre un camp de sal
i travessar muntanyes per trobar just muntanyes
i destrossar miralls i tallar-te amb els vidres.

Ja no tindràs aquell ressentiment
que els teus petons no saben nodrir llavis
que tot just ara s’ensaliven, que no saben
el gust de l’olor, que és penetrant com ferro,
i realment té gust de ferro, d’aigua,
quan és tan vera aigua que té gust de ferro…

Si jeus a descansar entre el seu coll
esdevindràs la molsa, au!, que es multiplica,
tot un ecosistema, tu, en ell, per sota els braços,
si et mira i et fa part dels seus,
i si tu et deixes trasplantar en aquella onada
que et munta pel clatell i per les ales,
si tu el fas part dels teus
i deixes d’exaltar-te
perquè no pots morir
després d’un minut d’estimar-lo,
no has de parlar, car ets
les fulles més suaus de l’herba-sana
i l’èxtasi de l’arbre entre les cames
i el gust de roca enmig de la saliva
i ets l’enamorat i l’incendiari
i l’àngel que s’escorre amb el diable,
just perquè, amb un petó dels ulls,
ell, que és el present nou que ja es despulla
i ja a les mans fa gust d’herba aromàtica,
no t’ha dit «no»
i t’ha prohibit plorar, tudar-te, caure i fer oi,
i t’ha prohibit morir
i t’ha prohibit podrir-te.

© Carles Rebassa
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt 2010

Arnau

englisch

It isn’t far away, this new now being forged,
but in his hands, and thighs,
the redemption in his eyes.
They are surveillance cameras, these eyes:
they film you, choose, and love you
or discard you in a nevermore,
and never more do you flower in him.
It’s not about being you nor, as I have said already,
about the infinitesimal seed
of being unique; of being,
only… Only you don’t need to be a seed,
but if you plant your eyes in his smile
or paint a smile between his fingers,
that paint, hidden,
you’ll no longer have that suffocating feeling,
of running so barefoot across a field of salt
and of crossing mountains to find just mountains
and smashing mirrors and cutting yourself on the glass.
No longer will you feel the bitterness
that your kisses do not know how to nourish lips
that are just starting to moisten, that do not know
the taste of the smell, that’s as piercing as iron,
and it really tastes of iron, of water,
that when is so pure, it tastes of iron…
If you lie and rest upon his neck
you will turn to moss, god!, that burgeons,
a whole ecosystem, you, in him, beneath his arms,
if he looks at you and makes you one of his own,
and if you let yourself be transplanted in that wave
that rides you by the scruff of the neck and through the wings,
if you make him part of your own
and if you stop getting excited
for you cannot die
after one minute of loving him,
you must not speak, for you are
the softest mint leaves
and the ecstasy of the tree between the legs
and the taste of rock in the saliva
and you are the beloved and the arsonist
and the angel who wanks with the devil,
just because, with a single kiss of his eyes,
he, who is the new now already undressing
and whose hands already taste like aromatic herbs,
has not said “no” to you
and has forbidden you to weep, to waste away, to fall and to be disgusting,
and has forbidden you to die
and has forbidden you to rot.

Translated by Anna Crowe

PRINCIPIS I FINALS

katalanisch | Joan Margarit

Un temps, vaig ser una noia de futur.
Podia llegir Horaci i Virgili en llatí,
recitar de memòria tot Keats.
Però, entrant en les coves dels adults,
em van caçar i vaig començar a parir
els fills d’un home estúpid i cregut.
Ara m’empleno el vas sempre que puc
i ploro si recordo un vers de Keats.
Una no sap, de jove, que cap lloc
no és el lloc on podrà restar per sempre.
També s’estranya quan no arriba mai
aquell o aquella en qui trobar descans.
Una ignora, de jove, que els principis
no tenen res a veure amb els finals.

© Joan Margarit
aus: Els motius del llop
Barcelona: Columna, 1993
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS

englisch

Once, I was a girl with a future.
I could read Horace and Virgil in Latin,
recite the whole of Keats by heart.
But when I entered the grown-ups’ caves,
they caught me and I started to bear
the children of a stupid, conceited man.
Now I drown my sorrows whenever I get the chance
and weep if I remember a line of Keats.
When you’re young, you don’t know
that you can’t stay in one place forever.
And you marvel if the man or woman
you longed to place your trust in never appears.
You don’t understand, when you’re young, that beginnings
have nothing to do with endings.

Translated by Anna Crowe

ELS MORTS

katalanisch | Joan Margarit

Els tres cops dels palmells damunt del mur:
Un, dos, tres: pica paret.
Ens llancem endavant mentre ressonen
i ens aturem mirant l’esquena de la Mort,
que es gira molt de pressa per sorprendre
els qui es mouen encara amb l’embranzida
i els fa fora per sempre d’aquest joc.

Un, dos, tres: pica paret.
Se’n va la llum. Com un punt d’or, l’espelma
fa tremolar les ombres de la cambra.
Per què fa tant de fred a la postguerra?
La Mort es tomba i veu com la meva germana,
amb febre, es mou i plora sota el gel.

Un, dos, tres: pica paret.
El passat era el rostre del meu pare:
presons i cicatrius, desercions.
Com el terroritzaven aquests cops
dels palmells contra el mur.
No pot acabar un gest d’impaciència.
La ira i la por el van delatar a la Mort.

Un, dos, tres: pica paret.
No ens apartàvem mai del seu costat.
I ara jugo amb la meva filla morta.
Per què no vaig endevinar els seus ulls?
Però el futur, astut, sempre fa trampa.
No vaig sentir els tres cops: em va somriure
i vora meu hi havia ja el seu buit.
I el joc havia de continuar.

Un, dos, tres: pica paret.
Ja no m’importa si la Mort em veu:
em giro per somriure als qui em segueixen.
Ara que he arribat a prop del mur,
no sé res del que hi pugui haver al darrere.
Només sé que me’n vaig amb els meus morts.

© Joan Margarit
aus: Càlcul d’estructures
Barcelona: Proa, 2005
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

THE DEAD

englisch

Those three blows from hands smacking the wall:
Knock on the wall: who is going to fall?
While they ring out we rush forward
then stop, watching Death whose back is turned,
but who will whirl round suddenly to catch out
anyone still teetering from their rush,
and eliminate them from that game forever.

Knock on the wall: who is going to fall?
The light is fading. Like a spot of gold, the candle
makes the shadows in the bedroom tremble.
Why is that post-war time so bitterly cold?
Death turns round and sees how my sister,
in her fever, tosses and cries under her ice-packs.

Knock on the wall: who is going to fall?
The past was my father’s face:
prison-cells and scars, defections.
How the blows from those hands
smacking against the wall terrified him.
He cannot suppress a restless movement.
Anger and fear denounced him to Death.

Knock on the wall: who is going to fall?
We never strayed from its side.
And now I play with my dead child.
Why did I never read that look in her eyes?
But the future is crafty, and always cheats.
I never heard the three blows: she smiled at me
and her empty space was already beside me.
And the game had to go on.

Knock on the wall: who is going to fall?
I no longer care if Death can see me:
I turn round to smile at those who follow me.
Now that I’ve reached the wall,
I know nothing of what there might be behind it.
I only know I am going there with my dead.

Translated by Anna Crowe

NOU MÓN

katalanisch | Manuel Forcano

Cap crònica antiga no m’ha parlat mai de tu.
Ni del teu nom.
Ni del cos que m’has ofert
com un país amic
sense cap barrera a la frontera.
No m’ho anunciava cap oracle,
però has aparegut d’un nou món,
d’un demà que ahir no esperava.

Deleja tant la terra
que la vegin ulls de guaita.

L’amor és un port
que arriba per fi a un vaixell.

© Manuel Forcano
aus: Llei d’estrangeria
Audio production: institut ramon llull

NEW WORLD

englisch

No ancient chronicle has ever mentioned you to me.
Not even your name.
Nor that body which you have offered me
like a friendly country
with no frontier barrier.
No oracle predicted it,
but you have appeared from a new world,
from a future which yesterday I did not expect.
Earth yearns so much
for watchful eyes to see it.
Love is a port
that finally comes to a ship.

Translated by Anna Crowe

mit Sappho im Hof

deutsch | Odile Kennel

am Anfang war noch
Aphrodite da. Ich kam
mir blöd vor, kann
kein griechisch, kannte
beide nicht. Dann
ging sie weg, wer weiß
wohin, sie sagte was
von Spree. Dann also
wir allein. Nein, schlafen
nicht, wir trinken Tee.
Ich sage, Sappho, du bist
unumgänglich, wie wär’s
du schreibst noch eine
Insel-Ode, une ode d’île?
Sie schaut mich fragmentarisch
an, reicht mir Papiere
Rollen, eine Rolex, Zeit
für neue Texte, sagt sie,
und eine Insel-Ode
ist dabei. Ich bin perplex.
Leg mir die Uhr ums Hand-
gelenk, lenk meinen Blick
zum Text, Schreck:
Ich kann das nicht lesen,
Sappho! Ihr Blick geknickt.
Ich hatte so gehofft …
Im Hof sitzt Sappho
ratlos, rastlos, folgt
durchs Hoftor Aphrodite,
die Rolex, ruf ich, sie
sieht sich nicht um, und ich
ich sitze mit der Armbanduhr
und ohne Text im Hof, ich geh
nach oben, leg mich
schlafen, träum,
ich trät in Scherben

© Odile Kennel
aus: unveröffentlichtem Manuskript / unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

with Sappho in the Courtyard

englisch

to begin with, Aphrodite
was still there. I felt
stupid, can't speak Greek,
didn't know any of them. Then
she left, don't know
where (she said something
about the Tay). Then
we're alone. No, we don't
sleep, we drink tea.
Sappho, I say, you are
unignorable, how about
writing another ode
to an island, une ode d'île?
She stares at me
fragmentedly, hands me papers,
scrolls, a Rolex: time
for new texts, she says,
and there'll also be an ode
to an island. I'm perplexed.
Strap the watch around my
wrist, glimpse
the text, get a shock:
I can't read Greek,
Sappho! Her look, dejected
I had so much hope ...
In the yard Sappho
is irresolute, restless, and follows
Aphrodite through the courtyard door.
The Rolex, I call, but she
doesn't look back, and I,
I sit with my wristwatch,
text-less in the yard. I go
upstairs, lie down
to sleep, dream
I'm treading on broken shards

Translation by Anna Crowe

Salbei denken

deutsch | Odile Kennel

ich denke Salbei, wenn ich Salbei
sehe, denke grüngraue, samtene Blätter
paarweise gegenständig, Lippenblütler
bitter und würzig, oder ich denke nichts
nicht Salbei, nicht Pflanze, nicht Duft
weil vor lauter Denken der Salbei
wohl vorkommt am Fenster, doch
verkommt im Kopf, er also für mich
nicht existiert, er aber für sich
existiert und nicht weiß, wie er heißt
und nichts weiß von seiner Existenz
vermutlich gar nichts weiß.

Ich denke du wenn ich nicht
Salbei denke, nicht denke
dass die Mauersegler dösen
in den höheren Schichten der Luft
während wir wach liegen am Fenster
ich denke du, während der bittere
und würzige Duft in deine und meine
Existenz dringt, von der er nichts weiß
und so entsteht ein existenzielles
Ungleichgewicht im Nachmittagslicht
denn wir wissen, wir wissen sehr genau
dass alle Zeit nur eine himmelwärts stürzende
Tasse
ist oder ätherisches Öl, oder
eine Apparatur der Einsamkeit, vermutlich



mit einem Zitat von Ulrike Draesner

© dtv
aus: oder wie heißt diese interplanetare Luft.
München: dtv premium, 2013
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

Thinking sage and you

englisch

I think sage when I see
sage, think grey-green hoary leaves
growing in pairs, sharp or spicy,
the flowers labiate,
Or I don't think at all, neither sage
nor plant nor scent since with too much
thinking the sage flourishes at my window
but dwindles in my head
exists then for me no more but
exists for itself and does not know what
its name is and knows nothing about
its existence, knows nothing at all, I suppose.

I think you when I don't think
sage don't think that
the swifts doze on the high
shoals of air when we lie awake
at the window I think
you when the bitter and
spicy scent in your and in my
existence breaks through knows nothing of it
and thus is born an existential
imbalance in the afternoon light
for we know we know precisely
that the whole of time is never more than
a cup hurled into the sky or even essential oil
or fittings of solitude, I suppose

Translation by Anna Crowe

die metaphorische Logik einer Verbindung

deutsch | Odile Kennel

es gibt keinen Beweis, dass wir
gemeinsam hier einkehrten. Nicht einmal
die hellen Rechtecke am Hang, die Horizont
von hinter der Berglinie in den Himmel
hieven, in Wirklichkeit aber die hellen
Stellen spiegeln in mir, sind ein Beweis
für die Herkunft der hellen Stellen.

Oder doch Fenster in meinem Körper
der ein Hang ist, um die Stadt drapiert
Tal bildet, das der metaphorischen
Logik nach du wärst, jeder könnte in uns
einkehren, wir wären durch Straßen, Parks
Trottoirs verbunden (und durch ein a)

ah, und ein Fluss flösse durch die Stadt
mit Brücken und Schiffen, schon allein
der Metaphern wegen. Und am Ufer
stünden Kinder und winkten, aber das

ist schon eine andere Stadt, durch die
wir trieben, auch hier keine Beweise
nicht einmal das zersprengte
Licht über dem Wasser, das in Wirklichkeit
die trudelnden Tupfer spiegelt in mir
oder ist mein Körper ein Fluss, such
dir aus, was du der metaphorischen Logik
nach wärst (etwas mit u?) oder ich
oder du oder

© Odile Kennel
aus: unveröffentlichtem Manuskript / unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

The metaphorical logic of a connection

englisch

there is no proof that we
swept in here together. Not even
the bright squares of the steep streets, that shoulder
horizon from behind the line of mountains into the
sky in reality however reflecting the bright
spots inside of me, are a proof
of the origin of the bright spots.

Or actually the window in my body,
which is steep streets, draped around the town
forms a deep cleft, which in metaphorical
logic would be you, anyone could sweep into
us, we'd be connected by streets, parks
trottoirs (and by an é)

yes, and a river would flow through the town
with bridges and boats, simply
for the sake of the metaphors. And on the banks
children would stand and wave, but that

is another town through which
we once drifted, with no proof here either
not even the shattered
light upon the water, which in reality
reflects the whirling dots inside me
or is my body a river, you choose
what you'd be, according to the metaphorical logic
(something beginning with i) or I
or you or

Translated by Anna Crowe
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

nach Pasárgada

deutsch | Odile Kennel

aus dem Fenster schauen, sich vergewissern
dass man existiert, weil die Welt
da draußen existiert. Drinnen
sind Bücher, vielleicht der Gedanke
an ein Kind, das man nie hatte, ist
ein Bett, eine Schreibmaschine.
Ein Telefon, das klingelt, wiederum
Welt nachweist, Töne, elektrische
Signale. Dann hinaus, gehen
durch die Stadt. Die kein Beweis ist
dass es das Drinnen gibt hinter
den Fensterläden, schon eher
der Milchmann, der Zeitungsverkäufer:
Aufblitzen einer Möglichkeit, Falten
im Anzug, Gesten des Alltags,
die Rettung der Substantive
Radfahren, Könige, Lektionen
vom Weggehen, jedes Ding
an seinem Platz



Nach dem Film „O poeta do castelo“ über Manuel Bandeira von Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (1959)

© Odile Kennel
aus: unveröffentlichtem Manuskript / unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

going to Pasárgada

englisch

looking out of the window, reassuring yourself
that you exist, because the world
outside exists. Inside
there are books, perhaps the thought
of a child you never had,
a bed, a typewriter.
A telephone that rings, evidence
in its turn of world, sounds, electric
signals. Then out, walking
through the city. Which is no evidence
that the inside exists behind
shutters, though more probable
are the milkman, the newspaper seller:
the flash of a possibility, creases
in your suit, everyday gestures,
the rescuing of the nouns
bicycles, kings, lessons
in leaving, each thing
in its place



after the film O poeta do castelo about Manuel Bandeira
by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (1959)

Translated by Anna Crowe
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

Tiere zu fragen

deutsch | Odile Kennel

Fragen zu Tieren
und Tiere zu Fragen
zu Flugscharen von
schartigen Schaben
Schabernack treibenden
Staren, treiben
windige Winzlinge
ins Auge oder sind das
Flusen, Pudelmuster
auf Blusen, schon
wummern Hufe
an Schläfen, zähl
Schäfchen, zähl
wolliges Dasein
auf Deichen, in Teichen
Schalenweichtiere
und Schnabeltiereier
im Lolch, Molche
besing, besing solche
die schweigen, Zwei-
seitentiere, weiche
Korallen, und Quallen
vergiss nicht, die
auch Durst haben
Mondfische, Woll-
schweine, eigentliche
Eulen, Chako-Pekaris
Okapis, Gorgonen
polternde Drohnen
und jetzt die Fragen:

© dtv
aus: oder wie heißt diese interplanetare Luft.
München: dtv premium, 2013
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

Bestial questions

englisch

Questions on animals
and animals on quests
for festering nests
of gestating cockroaches
hoaching, encroaching
on rockhopper penguins
grasshopping dingoes
that sing to the moon
crooning to spoonbills
while oodles of poodles
go paddling for ducks
pluckily swimming
on seersucker lakes
to peer for, speir for
a stuffed duckbilled platypus
flatfish and krill
and rough stolonifera
that grow upon pylons
high on the prairie
where buffalo graze
praise them, O praise them
these quiet conchifera
top-shells, clams, ammonites
do not neglect them
the newts, nerds and nerkles
ladybirds, thirsty ones
ticks, crickets, midges
linnets and peewits
true owls and quails
false birds of paradise
peccaries, okapis
plump anacondas
and bumbling drones
and now for the questions:

Translated by Anna Crowe
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

im Hof der tschatschenden Frisöre

deutsch | Odile Kennel

                    Frisöre verlangen ihre ganz eigene
                    literarische Herangehensweise.
                          
Felicitas Hoppe

                    Les coiffeurs demandent
                    une approche littéraire particulière.
                          
Emmanuelle Pagano

                   


immer träume ich von blauen
Kletterschuhen und einem Hof
voller Frisöre. Die Frisöre
rauchen, es sind viele, und sie reden
von Haaren. Dank der blauen Schuhe
gelange ich hinunter in den Hof
ich setze mich zu den Frisören
und rauche mit ihnen. Rauche
schweigend, weil ich nichts
über Haare zu sagen habe.
Sie rufen Rapunzel und meinen
nicht mich. Und weil Rapunzel
jemand anderes ist und hier
nicht wohnt, weiß ich nicht
wie ich zurück nach oben komme.
Die Frisöre fragen, was bedeutet
tschatschen, ich antworte:
tchatcher, ihr coiffeure!
Kennt ihr das nicht? Jeden Morgen
werde ich wach davon und weiß jetzt
es geht um Haare, was hatte ich
anderes erwartet? Sie ziehn
an ihren Kippen, ich kipple
auf meinem Stuhl, frage mich
und die Frisöre, was Sigmund
sagen würde zu meinen Kletter-
schuhen, warum sind sie blau,
und was bedeuten Frisöre.
Doch die Frisöre hören
nicht zu, die Frisöre
gehen zurück an die Arbeit.
Und ich, ich sitze im Hof
wie ein nasser Hund

© Odile Kennel
aus: unveröffentlichtem Manuskript / unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

in the chatching hairdressers' backyard

englisch

                    Hairdressers demand their very own
                    literary approach
                           Felicitas Hoppe

                    Les coiffeurs demandent
                    une approche littéraire particulière
                           Emmanuelle Pagano

 

I'm always dreaming of blue
climbing shoes and a backyard
full of hairdressers. The hairdressers,
lots of them, smoke, and they talk
about hair. Thanks to the blue shoes
I climb down into the yard
I sit with the hairdressers
and smoke with them. Smoke
in silence, because I have nothing
to say about hair.
Rapunzel, they call and don't
mean me. And because Rapunzel
is someone else and doesn't
live here, I don't know
how I'll get back up.
The hairdressers ask, What does
chatching mean? I answer:
tchatcher, you coiffeurs!
Don't you know? Every morning
it wakes me up and now I find
it's about hair, what on earth
did I expect? They puff
on their fags, I shuffle
my chair, ask myself
and the hairdressers what Sigmund
would say about my
climbing shoes – why
are they blue, and what
is the meaning of hairdressers.
But the hairdressers don't
listen, the hairdressers
go back to work.
As for me, I sit in the yard
like a wet dog

Translated by Anna Crowe
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

wenn ich die Augen schließe, ist der Himmel ein Bagger

deutsch | Odile Kennel

gelb, seine Schaufel so groß
dass die Welt hineinpasst. Er ist der Gott
aller Bagger auf Erden. Ihn beten sie an
mit jedem Klackklack ihrer Gelenke
ihr chorisches Wühlen ist ein Wüten
gegen ihre conditio technica, ihr Jaulen
im Tosen der Baustellen ein Jauchzen
Obertonsingen für göttliche Ohren.
Im Gleichtakt recken sie ihre Greifer
zum Himmel empor, doch diesen Takt
nähme man nur von dort oben aus wahr
wenn man selbst Gott wäre, Himmel oder
ein Bagger in der Größe des Himmels.
(Vielleicht ahnen Kinder die Nöte
der Bagger oder sie wollen Gott sein
der die Schaufeln bedient.) Ich öffne
die Augen, der Himmel ist eine riesige
Schaufel, gelb, hängt
am Gelenk des Alls.



nach einer Zeile von Carl-Christian Elze

© Odile Kennel
aus: unveröffentlichtem Manuskript / unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

when I close my eyes the sky is a digger

englisch

yellow, its shovel so big
that the world fits in. It's the god
of all diggers on earth. This is the one they pray to
with every clack-clack of their joints
their choral hacking out is a raging
against their conditio technica, their groaning
in the roar of the building sites a jubilant
singing with overtones for divine ears.
Straining in unison, their claws
implore the heavens, yet this rhythm
would be perceptible only from above
if you yourself were god, heaven
or a digger the size of the sky.
(Perhaps children sense the diggers' angst
or they want to be god,
operating the shovels.) I open
my eyes, and the sky is a huge
shovel, yellow, dangling
from the joint of the world.



after a line by Carl-Christian Elze

Translated by Anna Crowe
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

SOMNI D'UNA NIT D'ESTIU

katalanisch | Joan Margarit

Hem aturat el cotxe
vora un mur de xiprers.
Fa trenta anys que vivim junts.
Jo era un jove inexpert i tu una noia
desemparada i càlida.
L’ombra de l’última oportunitat
està ocultant la lluna.
Sóc un vell inexpert.
I tu una dona gran desemparada.

© Joan Margarit
aus: Els motius del llop
Barcelona: Columna, 1993
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Midsummer night´s dream

englisch

We have stopped the car
beside a wall of cypresses.
It´s thirty years we´ve lived together.
I was an inexperienced youth and you
a warm and helpless girl.
The last opportunity is casting
its shadow over the moon.
I am an inexperienced old man.
And you a helpless middle-aged woman.

English translation by Anna Crowe
Tugs in the fog, Bloodaxe Books 2006

RAMBLA DEL CARMEL

katalanisch | David Castillo

L'amor havia estat el reclam multicolor
dels bars de moda amb música de Blondie.
Ella tenia la pell aspra,
veu de noia trencada per l’alcohol.
La tocava en l'aire entre formes sense forma,
ella es queixava del refredat mentre fumava.

Carrer Agudells cantonada rambla del Carmel:
un túnel com els budells del somni,
crits de joves llibertaris travessant dècades
entre tirs de la policia i ordres per megafonia
com amenaces, dissolució.
Somni-malson negre,
negre com una nit negra sense tu,
negre com una llamborda negra,
negre com un negre negre.

I tu de què em parles?
D'una cultura de tanatori,
d’un rumor que no interessa ningú,
de tu, em parles de tu.
Jo vaig amb una pressa desesperada
i el món es mou a un ritme desesperant.

Corbates de blau pastel,
noies disfressades amb vestits de gasa
que marquen els pits.
Et despullo mentre preguntes per què.
Calla, mira, no repeteixis històries,
no vulguis saber el que no saps
ni voldries saber després de saber-ho.

Perquè ja ho saps:
somni, malson i negre,
negre com una nit negra sense tu,
que no vull,
negre com una llamborda al teu cor,
negre com els batecs sobre el pit
sense sostenidor negre,
sota el vestit de gasa negra,
negre com un negre ben negre.

© David Castillo
aus: El pont de Mülhberg
Barcelona: Proa, 2000
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Rambla del Carmel

englisch

Love had meant the multicoloured lure
of those fashionable bars with music by Blondie.
She had rough skin,
the voice of a girl ruined by alcohol.
I touched her in the open air among shapes that had no shape,
she complained about the cold while she smoked.

Carrer Agudells on the corner with rambla del Carmel:
a tunnel like the guts of sleep,
the shouts of young freedom-fighters crossing the decades
among shots from the police and orders by megaphone
with threats, dissolution.
Black nightmare of a dream,
black as a night without you,
black as a black paving-stone,
black as a black that is black.

And what is it you’re talking to me about?
A morgue-like culture,
a muttering that interests nobody,
it’s about you, you’re talking about yourself.
I travel in desperate haste
and the world moves at a despairing pace.

Pale blue ties,
girls disguised in gauzy dresses
that show their breasts.
I undress you while you ask why.
Be quiet, look, don’t tell stories,
you don’t want to know what you don’t know
nor would you like to know after you know it.

Because you already know it:
dream, the black of nightmare,
black as a black night without you,
that I do not want,
black as a paving-stone on your heart,
black as the heartbeats above your breast
without black bra,
under the black gauze of your dress,
black as a black that is truly black.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

ROBAR?

katalanisch | David Castillo

Al carrer et diran
que no pots anar a dreta o esquerra,
canvi de sentit,
direcció prohibida,
prohibit el pas,
propietat privada.

Tant se val que tinguis molt o que no tinguis res:
no pots passar,
tot és d'algú:
la casa,
el gos,
la moto de cinc-cents centímetres
que cubica de campionat,
el mirall,
el bar on fan les tapes tan bones
i la cuinera,
que també és d'algú:
del seu marit,
del seu pare,
dels seus fills,
de tot déu menys de tu
que ets l'únic que la desitja.

Canvia d'actitud:
passeja't com un xulo per una zona arrasada:
no vols res,
res que et pesi,
res que t'estreny:
la casa, amb un passadís massa llarg;
el gos, que té la solitària;
la moto, que li va trencar el colze al seu amo;
el bar, que només fa diners diumenge al matí
quan tu encara dorms
immers en el penúltim somni
en què la cuinera et somriu
sorgint entre els llençols
com un somni sense la propietat privada,
que a tu, de moment, no et comprimeix.

© David Castillo
aus: Downtown
Barcelona: Icaria, 2005
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Stealing?

englisch

In the street they’ll tell you
you can’t go right or left,
change of direction,
access forbidden,
no entry,
private property.

Whether you’ve plenty of cash or none
makes no difference:
It’s no go,
it all belongs to some one:
the house,
the dog,
the motorbike five metres long
with cylinder capacity for racing,
the mirror,
the bar where they make such good tapas,
and the cook,
who also belongs to someone:
to her husband,
to her father,
to her children,
to everyone but you
who are the only one who fancies her.

Change your attitude:
stroll like a tough guy through a demolition-site:
you don’t want anything,
anything that would weigh you down,
anything that would cramp you:
the house, with its too-wide corridor;
the dog, that has a tapeworm;
the motorbike, which broke the owner’s elbow:
the bar, that earns money only on Sunday mornings
when you’re still asleep
wrapped in the last dream but one
in which the cook smiles at you
emerging from the sheets
like a dream with no private property,
which for the moment doesn’t hold you back.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

FESTA MAJOR

katalanisch | David Castillo

“Controla la teva rebel·lia”, et recomanen,
i tu ho escoltes,
ho processes
i ho arxives
amb indiferència absoluta.

Hi ha dos mons:
el d'ells i el teu.
Ells manen
i et col·loquen la seva legió d’experts:
pedagogs per reeducar-te,
psicòlegs per analitzar el teu comportament
i fins i tot psiquiatres de ganyotes paralitzants
que van trepanar els cervells dels teus germans grans.
“Controla la teva rebel·lia”, en això coincideixen
mentre intenten projectar el seu infern
per a ments poc inquietes:
no juguis,
no fotis al veí
--i menys a la veïna—,
folla amb condó,
no consumeixis les drogues,
que no et venguin ells,
respecta els manaments de la religió laica,
no qüestionis la propietat privada
i, sobretot, controla la teva rebel·lia,
pot resultat incòmoda
per a qui no comparteixi el teu sentit de l'humor
canviant i poc fet a la simpatia.

Ja fora, quan els hagis enganyat
o hagis dissimulat el fàstic davant les seves trampes,
acull el permís de cap de setmana com si fos l'últim:
disfruta de tu mateix,
brinda per tenir sang a les venes
i la moral encara no rossegada per les rates.
No et preocupis ni cinc minuts pel futur
abans de dir-li al plaer
que entri per la porta que vulgui.

No controlis la teva rebel·lia,
no controlis la teva rebel·lia,
no controlis la teva rebel·lia,
prega a la irreverent rossa
després de besar-la:
“No et demanaré amor,
o potser sí.
Deixa-m'ho pensar”.

© David Castillo
aus: Downtown
Barcelona: Icaria, 2005
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Major Feast Day

englisch

“Curb your rebelliousness,” is their advice,
and you listen to it,
you take it in
and you file it away
with complete indifference.

There are two worlds:
theirs and yours.
They give the orders
and pigeon-hole you with their legion of experts:
pedagogues to re-educate you,
psychologists to analyse your behaviour
even psychiatrists whose grimaces scare you rigid
who trepanned the brains of your older siblings.
“Curb your rebelliousness”, in that they all concur
while they try to project their hell
for carefree minds:
stop playing,
don’t bugger up the man next-door—
and especially not the woman next-door—,
fuck with a condom,
don’t take drugs,
unless it’s ones sold by them,
respect the commands of the lay religion,
don’t challenge private property
and, above all, curb your rebelliousness,
it can turn out to be inconvenient
for anyone who doesn’t share your changeable sense
of humour that doesn’t lend itself to sympathy.

Once outside the house, when you’ve duped them
or concealed your disgust at their deceits,
welcome the licence of the weekend as though it were your last:
enjoy yourself,
raise a glass to that blood in your veins
and to morale not yet gnawed away by the rats.
Don’t waste even five minutes on worrying about the future
before inviting pleasure
to come in by whatever door it chooses.

Do not curb your rebelliousness,
Do not curb your rebelliousness,
Do not curb your rebelliousness,
tell that cheeky blonde
after you’ve kissed her:
“I shan’t ask you for love,
or maybe I will.
Let me think about it.”

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Orografia aèria

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

En l'aire hi ha muntanyes i altiplans
amb les seves baldanes, sots, avencs,
vessants.
Els núvols les remunten i cenyeixen. No
pugen dalt dels pics i, per això, mai no
veiem els cims dels gasos, ens pensem
que no tenen escaires.
Quelcom semblant és el que passa
amb l'ànima. Molt poca gent
veu bé la seva geografia;
desconeixen les bretxes i les grutes.
S'arrisquen a volar per l'ànima
d'algú com si fos una planura
esfèrica. De res serveix advertir que
la cosa es complexa a qui l'ha volgut
simple.
Tot i que és simple, verament:
el cel té esquena i només vol
que algú vulgui gratar-li quan
li fan pessigolles els àngels amb
les ales.
Per poder fer-ho cal aprendre
a veure'ls, i per tal de veure'ls cal
aprendre a estimar. Per estimar no cal
aprendre a aprendre i és, de fet,
molt millor no saber res.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Jocs de l’Oca
Barcelona: Servei de Publicacions de la UAB, 2006
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Mountains of the air

englisch

In the air there are mountains and plateaux
with their foothills, hollows, chasms, slopes.
The clouds sour up and encircle them. They do not
climb to the tophost, summits and, for this reason,
we never see the peak of gases, and think
they have no sharp corners.
Something similar goes on when it comes
to the soul. Very few people see its geography
at all clearly;
they are unfamiliar with its gaps, its caves.
They take the risk of flying over someone’s soul
as though it were a smooth sphere.
It’s no good warning someone who wanted it
to be simple that it is complex.
Even so, it is simple, truly:
the sky has a back and only wants
someone to be willing to scratch it when
angels tickle it with their wings.
In order to do this you have to learn
to see them, and to see them you
have to learn to love. In order to love
there is no need to learn how to learn
and, in fact, it is much better
not to know anything about it.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Entomologia i cinema

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

L'espera és primer tova, com una gota de resina,
el desig ofegat de l'insecte que ets; fútil vistositat
les ales fràgils dins el líquid dens.
Mentre espero que arribi el temps de veure els fills,
el dia és una boca d'estació i l'estiu s'ha assegut a la
sisena fila. A l'intertítol diu que han passat ja vint
anys, i surts tu quan se't trenca el setrill per segona
vegada. Pares la mà al clatell per comprovar que duus
posada la carota que ha de fer dubtar el tigre on és
la teva esquena. I el tigre és la seqüència on renyes
una nena que ha abocat el got d’aigua.
Pots fer-ho: transforma aquesta pedra de l'espera
en un peix de colors, o potser un préssec. Pinta
amb els mots taronja sobre el gris, recorda aquella
espera de color de mel, quan el petit infant voleiava
la sorra. Mou-te i escapa de la glòria de romandre
per sempre, com un fòssil dins l’ambre.
Escriu, escriu, escriu.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Entomology and cinema

englisch

Waiting is soft at first, like a drop of resin,
the stifled desire of the insect you are; futile showiness
these fragile wings inside the dense liquid.
While I wait until it’s time to see the children,
the day is a station entrance and summer has sat down
in the sixth row. On the screen it says that twenty years have already
passed, and you come out when the bottle of oil breaks for the second
time. You put your hand on the back of your neck to check
that the mask is in place, that’s supposed to make the tiger not know where
your back is. And the tiger is the sequence where you scold
a girl for spilling the drop of water.
You can do it: change the stone of this waiting
into a coloured fish, or maybe a peach. With words
paint the grey with orange, remember that
honey-coloured wait, when the tiny child was flying
across the sand. Move and escape from the glory of
staying forever, like a fossil in amber.
Write, write, write.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Plantilles

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Aquestes ja t'han quedat petites. Hi
passo els dits i toco la planta dels
teus peus, el negatiu d'un temps en
què sempre érem junts i els dies que
viuràs quan jo desaparegui. Un futur
que modela l'ortopèdia, la gravetat
que t'ha fet caminar estrany als meus
passos. Trepitja els meus fracassos
com si fossin graons d'una sapiència
antiga, perquè són el bagul que sempre
podràs vendre al traginer que passi.
Digues que la clau l'has perduda, que
et paguin pel seu pes; si troben que és
lleuger dius que són mapes i si el troben
pesant que són gemmes precioses.  I després
ves-te'n lluny, camina fins els cims. Regala
una moneda de perdó.  Tot el que donis
et durà més lluny.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Insoles

englisch

These are already too small for you now. I slip
my fingers in and feel the soles
of your feet, the negative both of a time in which
we were always together and also of the days you
will live through when I disappear. A future
modelled for us by orthopaedics, the heaviness
that’s made you walk as a stranger to my
footsteps. Tread my failures underfoot
as though they were steps of an ancient
wisdom, because they are the cabin-trunk you can
always sell to a passing carrier.
Tell him you’ve lost the key, that
they can pay you according to the weight; if they think
that it’s too light, say that it’s maps; if they think
it’s heavy, precious stones. And afterwards
travel as far as you can, climb right up to the summits. Drop
a coin or two in the forgiveness box. Every bit you give
will carry you that much further.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Desbordament

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

El líquid és de fang, dens com la sang, i dur
cadires, teules, arbres i una motocicleta.
Baixa a la rauxa com un brau embolat
pel carrer principal d’una vila on havies viscut
temps normals: una esposa, i uns fills, l'estofat
de patates i el tedi de les tardes.
¿Qui ha fet aquest beuratge fosc que ara s'aboca
com menjar que ha sobrat, al wàter?
¿Qui és el cuiner maldestre que ha trinxat, sofregit, macerat
per llençar el contingut de la cassola pels aiguavessants?
A la frase  “El pont per on passem” el temps verbal
és incorrecte per partida doble: ni el pont ni tu no hi sou.
“Tu ets el més important” és una mostra més
de la impotència de l’idioma: ha d'acabar amb un punt.
El dia del teu aniversari duies caramels tous
pels companys de l’escola. Sembla que els repartires
amb massa lentitud: se’t llençaren a sobre i et
trencaren la bata.
Sempre el mateix error: demanar que plogués.
¿Vols sopa? – Teniu! Allà, lluny del meu cor
els caramels de melsa. Ajupiu-vos, soldeu les vostres dents
amb l'instant i la fressa!
Deixeu-me que rastregi els records d'entre les hores i
la runa.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Instituto Ramon Llull

Overflow

englisch

The liquid is made of mud, as dense as blood, and carries along
chairs, tables, trees and a moped.
Like one of those bulls with knobs on its horns, it rushes unpredictably
down the main street of a town where you lived
when times were normal: a wife and children, potato
stew and the boredom of afternoons.
Who is responsible for this dark brew that backs up
like left-overs, in the toilet-bowl?
Who is the clumsy cook who has chopped and fried and mashed
in order to chuck the entire potful on to the hillside?
In the phrase, “the bridge you cross”, the tense of the verb
is wrong on two counts: neither the bridge nor you is present.
 “You are the most important one” is yet another example
of the feebleness of language: it should end with a full-stop.
On your birthday you took some toffees
into school for your friends. It seems you were doling them out
too slowly: they threw themselves upon you and
tore your school pinafore.
Always the same mistake: ask for rain.
You want some soup?—Have it! Here, this sweetie-jar
has nothing to do with my heart. Crawl about on the floor, cement
your teeth together with that moment and its clamour.
Let me pick the memories from out of the hours and
the rubble.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

L'avet

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Ets vulnerable. Un avet que viu en un balcó.
El test, amb crueltat, t'obliga a recordar l'anonimat
en mig del verd extens.
I la glòria fugaç de fàtues lluminàries nadalenques,  
encimellades ermes tan feblement gaudides, amb desig
i amb regust de pecat.
I qui sap si ara plou perquè tu vols plorar,  perquè
el clima i l'amor podrien ben bé ser part de la mateixa
cosa. Del mateix trencaclosques de núvols que es belluguen
i ballen d’una muntanya de tons blancs a l'altre, desfent
la feina feta.  Del paisatge esvaït d'una aquarel·la
que va pintar l'infant que imaginem que érem.
I si ara plores no és perquè plogui amb ganes
gotims madurs d’estiu que esvaeixen colors,
sinó pel somni que has perdut: somniaves que plovia.
I perquè, malgrat tu, agraeixes la vida.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

The Fir-tree

englisch

You are vulnerable. A fir-tree living on a balcony.
Your crown unkindly forces you to remember the hostile
anonymity of green expanses.
And the fleeting glory of fatuous Christmas-lights,
lofty wildernesses so feebly jollified, with desire
and an aftertaste of sin.
And who knows whether rain is falling because you want to weep,
because climate and love might well be part of the same
thing. Part of the same puzzle of clouds that struggle
and whirl from one white-coloured mountain to another, undoing
the work they have made. Part of the faded watercolour landscape
painted by the child we imagine we once were.
And if you are weeping now it’s not because it’s teeming down,
big fat drops of summer rain that wash away all colours,
but because of the dream you’ve lost: you dreamed that it was raining.
And because, in spite of yourself, you give thanks for life.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Relativitat

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Collir culs verds d'ampolla i petxines daurades
a la platja pot ser un acte innocent, ple de beutat
pel caminant que mira. Però pot, també, ser un
episodi perfidiós, si el pensament llunyà voreja
un rostre aliè, estrany als cossos que són teus
i et pertocaven.
Però això no fa menys bells ni menys estranys
els objectes trobats, desats dins un ventre de vidre
tubular que és la teva esperança.
Ara, les figures que veus quan et fregues els ulls són
cristalls de neu verds, un negatiu mirat al microscopi
per l'ull d’un huracà. La teva vida com un dibuix on
es veuen dos rostres: una vella i, després, la dona jove;
un conill si ho mires per l’esquerra (i aquest és tot
amor); si per la dreta, el bec d'un anegot que apunta
directament al cor obert d’un pacient al quiròfan.
Encara, tot i restar a aquell marge, temíem
l'esternut dels camions.
Avui la calma veu com fugen el passat i el futur
ufanosos, contraris. Gràcies siguin donades a qui
la va pintar: la primavera, el present, la línia divisòria.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Relativity

englisch

Picking up green bottle-ends and golden shells
on the beach may be an innocent act, full of beauty
for the walker who uses his eyes. But it can also be
a treacherous episode, if your wandering thoughts frame
an alien face, unknown to the bodies that are yours
and which concern you.
But that does not make less beautiful or strange your objets trouvés,
stored in the tubular glass belly of your hope.
Now, the figures you see when you rub your eyes
are green snow-crystals, a negative looked at through the microscope
of a hurricane’s eye. Your life like a drawing
where you see two faces: an old woman and, afterwards, the woman when young;
a rabbit if you look at it with the left eye (and this is love
entirely); if with the right, a duckling’s beak aimed
directly at the open heart of a patient in theatre.
Even so, although we stayed on the edge, we were afraid
of the lorries back-firing.
Today, a calm mind sees how past and future rush by
haughty and utterly opposed. Let us not cease to thank the man
who painted it: spring, the present, the dividing line.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Formalitats

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Quan em dones les gràcies si em somriuen les mans,
per una flor que em creix als ulls, una cita d'en
Chesterton o l'inconfessat desig de cordar-te un botó,
resto sempre callada.
¿Com podria dir "de res" si aquestes momes ho són tot?
Piguetes infantils que tornen a sortir amb l'edat,
rosada que el cel ha destil·lat perquè n'hi pugui beure
aquella abella.
Com la noia que surt a la finestra a estendre un
vestit roig i la mira l'obrer mentre posa ciment
a la casa veïna o la bastida que el sosté, a vint
metres d’alçada.
¿Com podrien dir "de res"?
Però ara jo també vull dir "gràcies" perquè has fet
de l'espera un bon estenedor pels meus vestits de festa
i puc escriure mel amb la set i la calma, i sento,
quan feinejo, el vertigen punyent i desitjo la vida.
I no em diguis "de res".
Potser s'escau "perdó" a aquest espai de les formalitats
- que és el que jo dic sempre, i tu restes callat.
Perdó perquè el dolor de no tenir-te no s'acaba,
pel núvol d'esperança que t'és fàcil llaurar,
pel pessimisme que desfàs com un terròs de sucre
amb la teva humitat universal que fa les coses grosses
toves, i les petites altes, lliscants per tobogans de fulles verdes.
(No té importància esbrinar perquè aquest poema
s'havia intitulat "cosir").

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Formalities

englisch

When you thank me for my smiling hands,
for a flower growing in my eyes, for a quotation from
Chesterton, or for the secret longing to do up one of your
       buttons,
I always remain silent.
How could I say “it’s nothing” if these gifts are “all”?
Little freckles that come back with age,
dew that the sky distills for that bee
to drink.
Like the girl who comes to the window to hang out
a red dress and looks at the workman laying concrete
in the house next door or at the scaffolding supporting him
twenty metres above the street.
How would they say “It’s nothing”?
But now I also want to say “thank you” because you have
        turned
the waiting into a fine washing-line for my best dresses
and I can write honey from thirst and calm, and doing chores
I feel that stab of vertigo and I want to live.
And don’t say “it’s nothing”.
Perhaps “sorry” will fit this space for formalities—
that’s what I always say, and you stay silent.
Sorry because the pain of not having you never ends,
for the cloud of hope you can so easily plough,
for the pessimism you melt, like a sugar lump,
with the universal humidity that makes great things
soft, and small things lofty, sliding down toboggans of green
        leaves.
(It’s irrelevant to try to guess why this poem
was originally called “Sewing”)

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Petrolier i Teatre

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Aquesta nit un altre petrolier ha rebentat a les estrelles.
El cel es fa pesant pel cortinatge fosc que es mou
com una serp, al nord i al sud en onades distintes.
¿Qui ha accionat la palanca equivocadament,
quan no hi havia entreacte?
Diuen que el teloner sóc jo, i ara la llum desapareix
com si l'home del sac l'hagués robada.
Se'n va la neu de l'escenari, la teva veu, les lloses
de la casa de sucre que entre els dos hem bastit
i el bressol que teixies amb paraules.
Tot i que em sembla nou, conec bé aquest teló fet de mortalla,
de cuirs de llops, draps de la pols que pengen, despulles
de llebrers que no eren bons per la cacera.
Parracs dels noms dels que no sé estimar.
Les teves mans, les meves, buides com guants de goma.
Els nostres llavis d’enfilalls de moixama
repetint quatre notes de grans obres simfòniques que
ofeguen plors de nens.
Llavors venen les basques i els glassons amb forma de pingüí
que em pugen a la gola. Contra les meves dents,
abans de caure a terra,
fan el soroll de claus a punt d’obrir la porta.
¿Ets tu el gos adormit que sembla mort, que dóna i pren calor
d’entre les meves cames?
Potser jo sóc el gos, i tu,
el captaire.

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Oil-tanker and theatre

englisch

Tonight another oil-tanker has burst among the stars.
The sky grows heavy with dark curtains moving
snake-like, north and south in different waves.
Who has pulled the lever down in error
when there was no interval?
Someone says I’m the stage-manager and now light vanishes
as though spirited away by the bogeyman.
Snow on the stage melts, along with your voice, and the slabs
of the candy house we built together,
along with the cradle you wove with words.
Although it looks new, I recognise this theatre-curtain sewn
        with shrouds,
with wolf-skins, with dust hanging in rags, and the remains
of hounds who were no use for hunting.
Shreds of names of those I don’t know how to love.
Your hands, and mine, empty as rubber-gloves.
Our lips, strips of dried fish
repeating a few notes from great symphonies which
drown the cries of children.
Then comes the retching and the ice-cubes shaped like
penguins
welling up in my throat. Before they fall to the floor,
they rattle against my teeth with a noise like keys
about to open a door.
Is it you, this sleeping dog that looks dead, that gives
and takes away warmth from between my legs?
Maybe I am the dog, and you
the beggar.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

Conèixer

katalanisch | Anna Aguilar-Amat

Que els altres són com tu, de tots els pensaments cruels,
és el que mulla més. Els pren allò que és seu:
la forma dels cabells, el color dels teixits,
el traçat de les lletres, difuminat com molsa.
Si penso que ets com jo, deixo de veure
que el riure és un desordre d'aire arremolinat al cove
de la gola. Que les tardes es poden quedar quietes,
en un instant etern, com colibrís que beuen.
Quan penses que ets com jo, salto de branca
en branca fugint del teu foc moll que em llepa.
Qui ha bufat massa fort?  Qui ha dit
que sap com som, que el temps cal mastegar-lo
cinquanta-cinc vegades?

© Anna Aguilar-Amat
aus: Petrolier
València: Denes, 2003
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Knowledge of others

englisch

Of all cruel thoughts, the one of others being like you
is the most drenching. It takes from them what is theirs:
the way their hair grows, the colour of their garments,
the shape of their handwriting, all blurred, like moss.
If I think that you are like me, I no longer see
that laughter is a tangle of air whirled in the rattle-bag
of your throat. Or that afternoons can be still,
for an endless instant, like humming-birds drinking.
When you think you are like me, I leap from branch
to branch to escape from your wet, licking fire.
Who is it has blown too hard? Who has said
they know what we’re like, or that time has to be chewed,
every mouthful, fifty-five times?

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

QUAN TOT DE SOBTE

katalanisch | Marta Pessarrodona

Segurament, la meva sort ja cedia
 i els meus dies d’enciam caducaven.

Havien fracassat les meves obres?
Havia estat tot una il•lusió?

Aquell déu havia abandonat Antoni, ben cert;
i, de retruc, una mítica Cleopatra mental.

Des de Le Metropol Hotel veia el mar,
com l’havien vist Morgan i l’amic oficinista.

Allí, irrigació, com a Bs As comissariat de gallines.
És sempre així el cada dia dels grans poetes?

Contemplava l’orfandat del far absent,
les inexistents petjades del foraster etern,

i, ben endins, on acaba algun camí,
plorava i, en especial, recordava.

Des del Greek Club, dialogava  amb mi
en la meva llengua, amb el meu llemosí.

Els altres, els bàrbars, en arameu, parlaven entre ells,
mentre jo m’acomiadava d’una Alexandria llibresca.

La sang, la meva, no era gens freda,
ni el record de les absències menys punyent.

Obedient, amb coratge, ja preparada,
avui li dic adéu a l’Alexandria que perdo.

No escolto el plany dels pusil•lànimes,
perquè ells no m’havien donat cap ciutat.

Avui, en plena fugida, mesuro
l’Alexandria que, ben segur, tinc.

© Editorial Meteora
aus: Animals i plantes
Barcelona: Editorial Meteora, 2009
Audio production: institut ramon llull

WHEN ALL AT ONCE

englisch

Undeniably, my luck was now running out
and my salad days were withering.

Had my writing been a failure?
Had it all been an illusion?

The god had forsaken Antony, that’s for sure;
and, on the rebound, a mythical Cleopatra of the mind.

From the Hôtel Métropole I could see the sea,
just as Morgan and his friend the clerk had seen it.

Over there, irrigation, as in the Buenos Aires poultry inspectorate.
Is it always like this, the everyday of the great poets?

I contemplated the orphanhood of the absent lighthouse,
the non-existent footprints of the eternal foreigner,

and, deep inside, where a road comes to an end,
I wept and, in particular, remembered.

From the Greek Club I conversed with myself
in my own tongue, with my Catalan-Limousin-Occitan.

The others, the barbarians, talked among themselves in Aramaic,
while I said farewell to a bookish Alexandria.

The blood running in my veins was by no means cold,
nor the memory of these absences less poignant.

Obediently, courageously, already well-prepared,
I say goodbye today to the Alexandria I am losing.

I pay no heed to the moans of the faint-hearted,
for they never gave me any city at all.

Today, in full flight, I survey
the Alexandria which, safe and secure, is in my grasp.

Translated into English by Anna Crowe

POESIA: UNA VISIÓ PERSONAL

katalanisch | Marta Pessarrodona

Tal com va dir el prevere de les Mallorques:
guaita l’horitzó de les coses futures.
Enllà de l’Atlàntida, una poeta va predicar
que també pel passat pot fer-hi via.

Sabem que tot s’hi val si res no és mentida.
En el principi és la paraula i molt mimada.

Un súbdit britànic ens va ensenyar
que podíem envellir als trenta anys:
la reina d’ulls metamorfosats en perles,
en un  mes de risc i crueltats variades.

A casa, un dandi ens escrivia l’epitafi:
el fred era ben a prop i un polsim de melanconia.

L’àngel, el del sant poeta, el de la creu,
per sort, ens va assenyalar ja de petites.
Després, l’hem hagut de venerar, cercar,
per a cadascuna de les seves visites.

Ningú no ens va prevenir de l’alt risc que corríem.
Ningú no ens va avisar que tot i tot canviaria.

És sempre  la passió. A la prosa,
encara que florida, hi va l’amor.
És el cim de la piràmide literària i,
envejosos, la vesteixen de parenta captiva.

Llir entre cards de la nostra tradició, del nostre cavaller.
Rosa amb espines que fan brollar, amb sort, sang divina.

© Marta Pessarrodona
Audio production: institut ramon llull

Poetry: A Personal Vision

englisch

Just as the priest of the Mallorcan islands said:
keep scanning the horizon for things to come.
Beyond the 'Atlàntida', a woman poet averred
that through the past as well there is a road.

We know that all is just if nothing lies.
In the beginning is the word, and wayward now.

A citizen of Britain taught us
thirty years could make us seem antique:
the queen whose eyes transmuted into pearls,
in April, month of risk and well-bred cruelties.

At home our epitaph was being written by a dandy:
the cold was close at hand, sprinkled with melancholy.   

The angel belonging to the poet-saint, he of the cross,  
luckily signed us when we were still but small.
Later, we had to venerate him, seek him out,
each time we wanted him to come and call.

Nobody forewarned us of the high risk we ran.
Nobody warned us everything, but everything, would change.

Poetry is passion, always. Love depends
on prose, even the flowery kind.
It is the apex of the literary pyramid and,
jealously, they dress her as imprisoned kin.

Lily among thistles of our ancient lyrics, of our knight.
Rose whose thorns will cause, with luck, divine blood to gush out.

English translation by Anna Crowe

Que sempre fos setembre

katalanisch | Jaume Subirana

Que sempre fos setembre, que l'hivern
ens esperés en va.
Que cada aiguat,
que tot el fred, que tanta absurda pressa,
que tot el que s'acosta, trist octubre,
fos cada cop com la sorpresa amable
de la primera pluja,
de la primera cita,
del retrobat jersei.

© Jaume Subirana
aus: Pel viure extrem
Proa, 1985
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Let it be always September

englisch

Let it be always September, and winter
wait for us in vain.
Let every downpour,
all the cold, and such ridiculous hurry,
let all that's coming closer, sad October,
be each time like the kind surprise
of the first rain,
of the first time we met,
of the jersey we find again.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Vestigis

katalanisch | Carles Duarte

Cerques arreu vestigis d’altres vides,
dels somnis que les feien bategar,
dels déus que en mitigaven la temença,
dels mots que n’explicaven les mirades,
dels gestos esculpits on preservaven
allò que creien que era digne
de sobreviure el temps.

Cerques vestigis de tu
salvats en el paisatge,
però ja saps que et vencerà
aquesta ona infatigable
que sents, ja serè, com va desfent-te
mentre els teus ulls somriuen a la llum
i amb els llavis celebres
el raïm i la pell.

aus: Arwad
Papers de Derramar, 2009
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Traces

englisch

You search everywhere for traces of other lives,
of the dreams that made them pulse,
of the gods that calmed their fear,
of the carved movements with which they preserved
that which they thought worthy
of surviving time.

You search for traces of yourself
preserved in the landscape,
but you already know you’ll be beaten down
by this tireless wave
and you feel, already serene, how it is defeating you
while your eyes smile at the light
and with your lips you celebrate
grapes and skin.

Translated by Anna Crowe

UNA TERRA PLENA DE LLUM

katalanisch | Perejaume

Una terra plena de llum.
Una terra on la llum s’hi acumulés,
encesa i sumada:
tota una heretat de llum.

Una terra amb tots els cels ajaçats,
drets tot just com turons
que s’alcen matinals
i es ponen per l’obaga.

Si podíem portar la terra a la llum!
Si la sabíem pujar dreta,
que no es marcís,
en un cultiu ardent i celeste de llum!

© Perejaume
aus: Pagèsiques. Unpublished
Audio production: institut ramon llull

A LAND FULL OF LIGHT

englisch

A land full of light,
a land where light might accumulate,
heaped and burning:
a whole estate of light.

A land with all its skies lying down
just like proper hills
that rise up with the morning
and set at dusk.

If we could only lift the land into the light!
If only we knew how to raise it up straight,
so that it would not fade,
in a burning and celestial field of light!

Translated by Anna Crowe

Tomba de Ferreira Gullar

katalanisch | Albert Roig

[Besa’m i deixa que una boca morta
a la teva es podreixi
i que el carnús pudent del meu capvespre
te’l canti el vell ocell
a l’erm
del teu matí—
matins, ròssecs de vent i sol,
pètals i el pus
que l’olivera hi solta
marcint-se.
]

I a la nit d’ara
contra els meus fulls desada
l’erta flor, l’olor blanca de l’oblit,
ara als teus ulls,
gessamí, un sol pètal
de nit
que esclates i et fas llum
de les Ombres de l’Èreb.

© Albert Roig
aus: A l’encesa
Edicions 62, 2007
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Tomb of Ferreira Gullar

englisch

Kiss me and allow a dead mouth
to rot on yours
and let the stinking flesh of my dusk
sing it to you the old bird
in the wilderness
of your morning—
mornings, beams of wind and sun,
petals and the pus
that the olive tree drops
as it withers.

And in the night of the present,
hidden between its leaves
the dead flower, the white smell of oblivion,
now in your eyes,
jasmine, a single petal
of the night
bursting open and becoming light
of the Shades of Hell.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Sala Egípcia

katalanisch | Francesc Parcerisas

M’assec a la sala egípcia del museu
i sento el brunzir de mel de les abelles.
El passat és de debò: groc i blau,
com el blat que agrana el pagès o aquesta cigonya
que beu al riu turquesa del papir.
Un cop més tot em sembla igual:
el paleta amb el sedàs a bat de sol
i l’esclau que venta, submís, el faraó
m’esperen dins un taxi, carrer avall.
Un vol d’ànecs rabents creua el cel enterbolit;
a la taula del costat, l’ibis somica, ebri, cruel.
Diuen que les passions no es poden mai pintar
però aquest fresc és un mirall de quatre mil anys.
Vindrà la mort, com el gos fosc de la paret,
i creurem ser massa joves, o immadurs,
o ens sabrà greu de traspassar, adormits,
el goig escàs i fugisser de tants moments perduts.
La barca, però, llisca eterna sota el sol roent.

© Francesc Parcerisas
aus: Focs d’octubre
Audio production: institut ramon llull

The Egyptian Room

englisch

I sit in the Egyptian room in the museum
and hear the honeyed buzzing of the bees.
The past is with us, now: yellow and blue,
like the wheat the labourer is threshing, or that stork
that drinks from the turquoise river of the papyrus.
Once again all times seem to be one and the same:
the stone-mason with his sieve in the scorching sun,
and the slave who is humbly fanning the pharaoh
wait for me in a taxi down the street.
A flock of ducks swiftly crosses the murky sky;
at the next table the ibis snivels, drunk and tyrannical.
They say the passions can’t be painted any longer
but this four-thousand-year-old fresco is a mirror.
Death will come, like that black dog on the wall,
and we’ll think ourselves too young, not ripe enough,
or we’ll lament our having to fall asleep and leave behind
so many moments’ scant and fleeting joy, all lost.
But look at the boat, gliding forever under the blazing sun.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Restes

katalanisch | Jaume Subirana

Ho escolto en l’abraçada.
Potser encara no ho sap. Hi ha els ulls, però,
hi ha els ulls, tan vora els meus que se m’escapen,
i l’altra mà, la del consentiment,
que juga sorda, lluny, desemparada.
És com si m’ho digués, mentre ens besem,
com si amb els llavis m’avancés la brama
dels cent petits sorolls del comiat:
la porta, el cop, les passes per la grava,
l'udol trencat del gos, germans tots dos
abandonats com quan l’estiu s’acaba.
Se’n va, se n’anirà. M’endinso a cegues
en el mal temps del cos que n’ha quedat.

© Jaume Subirana
aus: Final de festa
Proa, 1989
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Remains

englisch

I hear it in our embrace.
Maybe she doesn't yet know. But there are her eyes,
there are her eyes, so close to mine I can't see them,
and her other hand, the consenting hand,
playing, deaf, far-off, all on its own.
It is as though she were telling me, while we kiss,
as though with her lips the rumour came to me
of a hundred small sounds of goodbye:
the door, slamming, the footsteps crossing the gravel,
the broken howl of the dog, both of us brothers
abandoned as when summer is at an end.
She is going away, she will go. Blindly I immerse myself
in the bad weather of the body that has stayed behind.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Per immersió

katalanisch | Jaume Subirana

He ficat les dues mans
a la peixera dels dies
i l’aigua se m’esmunyia
com si fos un animal,
com el vi si l’aigualia,
com la llengua de l’amant,
com el nus que ningú tiba
i la lletra d’aquell salm,
com el nom que se m’oblida,
com els jocs al pis de dalt,
com un record quan el colles.
A la peixera dels dies
he ficat dues mans buides,
i n’he tret dues mans molles.

© Jaume Subirana
aus: La Traductière
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Through immersion

englisch

I plunged my two hands
into the fish-tank of days
and the water slipped away from me
as though it were an animal,
like wine if I water it,
like the tongue of a lover,
like the knot nobody tightens,
and the words of that psalm,
like the name that escapes me,
like the games in the flat upstairs,
like a memory as you catch hold of it.
Into the fish-tank of days
I plunged two empty hands
and brought out two wet hands.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Patrimoni

katalanisch | Jaume Subirana

El verd del vent entre les fulles,
l'ombra de l'hora a la paret,
un gest que fa mentre es despulla
i l'aire que ens envolta, net
de paraules com una treva:
el món és ple de coses meves.

© Jaume Subirana
aus: El rastre de l’animal més lliure
Proa, 1994
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Heritage

englisch

The green of the wind among the leaves,
the hour's shadow upon the wall,
the movement she makes, as she takes off her clothes,
and the air that wraps us round, swept clean
of words like a truce:
the world is full of my things.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Nit

katalanisch | Albert Roig

L’ànima aviat enverina el cos i pren formes malaltisses, no suporta ser
mirada. Els uns la porten als dintres, als altres els és ombra—Ningú no
camina al seu devora.

© Albert Roig
aus: Córrer la taronja
Edicions 62, 2002
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Night

englisch

The soul soon poisons the body and takes on sickly forms, it does not
bear being looked at. Some of them carry it inwards, for the others it
is shadow. Nobody walks close by.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Mediterrània

katalanisch | Antoni Vidal Ferrando

De bon matí creixien els velluts de la mar.
Cada dia anàvem a donar pa als ocells
sota un sol jactanciós. Cada dia,
i les noies duien dofins als llavis.
Duien gemmes, licor, bells amulets.
Quan les vèiem, l’horabaixa tenia
gust d’arrels de violeta. En aquell temps
tots sabíem dormir els escurçons
amb un vell flabiol. També havíem après
a caminar descalços dins l’arena del mal,
a rentar-nos la cara amb suc de móres
durant els sacrificis. Oferíem als déus
mocadors i tabac, ganivets i avellanes.
Tenaçment esperàvem un senyal o mercès
de la seva inclemència.

© Antoni Vidal Ferrando
2010, La Traductière, núm. 28
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Mediterranean

englisch

Early mornings the sea poured out more velvet.
Every day we’d go and feed the birds with bread
under a braggart sun. Every day,
and the girls wore dolphins on their lips.
They wore gems, they carried liqueurs, fine amulets.
When we saw them, the dusk
was scented like the roots of violets. In those days
we all knew how to send vipers to sleep
by blowing on an old pipe. We had also learned
to walk barefoot through the sands of evil,
to wash our faces in blackberry juice
during the sacrifices. We offered the gods
handkerchiefs and tobacco, knives and hazelnuts.
We hung on, waiting for a sign or reprieve
from their inclemency.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Mar adolescent

katalanisch | Albert Roig

I

Com resplendeix tot amb tu a la vora
adormida, nets verds, de vidre,
la flor més neta, fosca
adolescent
de sal.

II

I ara.

Com la sorra on recolzes
el son. Al fluix rompent.

I en desfàs lentament
el cabdell, mà.

I el teixeixes, alè.

No, no et despertis
encara.

III

I als cels d’ara
si hi fossis contra els seus fulls desada, l’erta
flor.

© Albert Roig
aus: Que no passa
Edicions 62,, 1990
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Adolescent Sea

englisch

I

How everything shines with you beside me
asleep, clean greeness, glass,
the cleanest flower, dark
adolescent
of salt.

II

And now.

Like the rock you lean on,
sleep. On the breaking waves.

And you, hand, slowly
unwind the tangle.

And you weave it, breath.

No, don’t wake up
just yet.

III

And in the skies of the present
if only you were hidden between its leaves, the dead
flower.

Translated by Anna Crowe

DAVANT DEL RAM

katalanisch | Perejaume

Davant del ram,
damunt els extraordinaris
materials aflorants,
davant la terra
enflorada de valls i les valls
d’esbadellar-se la terra,
per entre els marcits abismes
i els costers aponcellats,
em pregunto, a cada vall,
quines muntanyes l’han desclosa.

© Perejaume
aus: Pagèsiques. Unpublished
Audio production: institut ramon llull

FACED WITH THE BOUGH IN BLOOM

englisch

Faced with the bough in bloom,
above the extraordinary
materials beginning to open,
faced with the earth
blossoming with valleys and the valleys
setting the earth in flower,
among the withered gorges
and the budding hillsides,
I wonder, with every valley I come to,
which mountains let it bloom.

Traslated by Anna Crowe

Illa

katalanisch | Albert Roig

Aquesta pluja
de peixos negres, d’ulls,

i el marès de les cases,
i el canyar que els parles,
a les tombes de Qala,
parla que allises
barrancs, a la vora que llepes i rellisses,
i que et rebolques plàcida,
i et fas cala, espluga,
penya-segat.

I enllà, cap a l’Illot dels Moridors, la fusta
calada de ploure i de sal,
ferida.

Mar, com un animal ferit tremoles, llum
d’ales, d’olors,
tremoles les mans del sol vell.

Defalliu, plomes, cels d’ahirs.

                         Dahlet Qorrot, Illa de Gozzo, 2000

© Albert Roig
aus: A l'encesa
Edicions 62, 2007
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Island

englisch

This rain
of black fish, of eyes,

and the mud-bricks of the houses,
and the reedbed, you who speak to
the tombstones of Qala,
speech, you who smooth the pebbles of the ravine
and lick and slide the shores
and there you placidly wallow
and turn yourself into cove, shallow cave, cliff.

And beyond, as far as the small island of the Mortals, the driftwood
soaked by rain and salt,
wounded.

Sea, like a wounded animal you tremble, light
of wings, of smells,
you make the hands of the old sun tremble.

You faint, feathers, skies of many yesterdays.

Dahlet Qorrot, Island of Gozo, 2000

Translated by Anna Crowe

Erm

katalanisch | Albert Roig

II

Ànsia que et fas boca, nits,
la ferida oberta,
Sol vell,
que encara adolles,
cada silenci a les meues fulles,
la clara aigua que hi tremoles,
espills, tan netes.

© Albert Roig
aus: A l’encesa
Edicions 62, 2007
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Wasteland

englisch

I

Dripping, placidness—
of wings,
skin,
petals of blood that gushes,
of living smell,

and the eager hand and the thorn
and the scabs of blood of the sun,
of things forgotten.

And its hand, what does it want to tell me?

The wind’s white open hand,
the hand offered
here,
of the damp silver
of the olive tree, hair and light tossed by the north-west wind.

In the hands of the old sun are trembling the branches of water,
the white smell, oblivion,
and it sets.

It still has the wide-open eyes of black night,
the mouth still living
and flies
and tender dust.

And the starlight—
the open door,
and the drenched dog, the smell of winter that now comes in,
and the eel in the cistern
and earthworms,
the pouring rain.

And so for me your body rises into being.

II

“Yearn, you who become mouth, nights,
the open wound,
Old sun,
still pouring yourself out,
every silence in my leaves,
the clear water that you make tremble here,
mirrors, such clean leaves.”

III

And the bird’s shadow
and the three vivid flames,
the deep honeycomb of the eyes, of eyes
that shine against the night.

Flower and night,
wedding garden of shadow and delight,
sweet music of oblivion,
embraced at the thorn of night
the hand which kindles every dream
within me sleeping,

and I wake here again and again
and I close my ears and I’m whirled
by the lean lithe dance
of the water and its pebbles
and the pouring out of the ditch
and the outhouse still bright by the limelight
and the slice of bread and the jug of wine on the table,

and it is Love that breathes here slow,
in being Love of dregs, the last of all,
in being barely
in the ripeness of the pulp and the mouth.

The mouth, with the sharp flavour of dahlias,
the fruit of the wilderness,
is rotting here.

We turned the sky into the most placid shore,
from nightjars’ wings, orchards
of red water, bullfrogs, at nightfall,
and their suns rotted in our hands
and we lit a fire
to shelter from the final winter.

I wish the black mouth
of echoes warded off the fire.
For it flows through the branches and everything wells up
in the fire.

All in leaf, everywhere ravings
of ash into sowing and flames.

Translated by Anna Crowe

ELS MILLORS VERSOS QUEDEN PER ESCRIURE

katalanisch | Teresa Pascual

Els millors versos queden per escriure.
Del temps aqueix moment de recrear-se
en el somriure que t'omple la boca
i en el joc d'abraçar-la amb els meus llavis.

De cada instant el gest, no la paraula,
completa i exhaurida de misteris,
dels ulls atents que ens guaiten, el mirar,
del cos, l’aire trencat en menejar-se.

Després de les frases, després dels mots,
el vel espès que amaga el sentiment,
va descobrint-se a partir de la forma

en què les mans ens parlen i ens recorren,
en què milers de mans diuen el vers
tan difícil de gravar en el full.

© Teresa Pascual
aus: Flexo
Audio production: institut ramon llull

THE BEST LINES ARE STILL TO BE WRITTEN

englisch

The best lines are still to be written.
Out of time this moment of delight
in the smile that fills your mouth
and in the game of embracing it with my lips.

From every instant the expression, not the word,
complete and drained of all mystery,
of kind eyes that watch us, the gaze,
the body, the air bisected by movement.

After the phrases, after the words,
the thick veil concealing feeling,
it gradually reveals itself from the shape

in which hands speak to us and travel over us,
in which thousands of hands utter the line
that is so hard to write on the page.

Translated by Anna Crowe

EL TEU COS NO ÉS SAL I ÉS LA SAL

katalanisch | Teresa Pascual

El teu cos no és sal i és la sal
com no és pa tampoc i és el pa
que ara s’ha partit en dos i menge
sacrílega, santament, sacrifici,
eucaristia de la nit oberta.
No és casa el teu cos i és la casa
que podria habitar-se sense llums,
els ciris grocs encesos, olors grogues,
temps ferit sense culpa, sense origen,
altar sense condemna, eucaristia.

© Teresa Pascual
aus: Currículum vitae
Audio production: institut ramon llull

YOUR BODY IS NOT SALT AND YET IS SALT

englisch

Your body is not salt and yet is salt
just as it is not bread and yet is bread
that now has been cut in two for me,
sacrilegious, to eat holily, sacrifice,
eucharist of the spread-out night.
It’s not a house, your body, yet is the house
that could be lived in without lights,
the yellow candles lit, smelling of yellow,
time wounded without blame or origin,
altar without sacrifice, eucharist.

Translated by Anna Crowe

CONSTRUÍEM PARAULES DE CIMENT

katalanisch | Teresa Pascual

Construíem paraules de ciment
i creàvem paraules de silenci.
La finestra entreoberta, la finestra,
el marc de la foscor més grisa i ampla.
Si et parlava, tancaries les mans
i tu no deixaries que em parlaren,
si et besava, tancaries els ulls
i tu no deixaries que em besaren.

© Teresa Pascual
aus: Les Hores
Audio production: institut ramon llull

WE BUILD WORDS OF CEMENT

englisch

We build words of cement
and create words of silence.
The half-open window, the window,
the frame of a greyer and wider darkness.
If I spoke to you, you would fold your hands
and would not let them speak to me,
if I kissed you, you would close your eyes
and would not let them kiss me.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Cel

katalanisch | Albert Roig

I

Ara
la clara nit que entres,
nit que als cors cremes.  
I ens esperes,
última, muda
nuesa.

A la mà del vent.

I les mans càlides que hi tremoles,
dels pollancres i l’aigua,
dels seus cels les veus de mort
sents nodrir-se’n—
nosaltres, trèmuls,
¿Quins cels estranys?

Déu hi dorm.
Fulles que vincles
l’agronxen, l’aigua closa dels cors, nits,
l’Aigua Mort.

II

Pel cel nu—
de veus, d’esglais que es criden, moren—
remes.

A l’encesa.

 a mon pare i. m.

© Albert Roig
aus: A l’encesa
Edicions 62, 2007
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Sky

englisch

I

Now
the clear night you enter,
Night, you who burn in our hearts.
And you wait for us,
our final, silent
nakedness.

In the wind’s hand.

And the warm hands of the poplars and water
which you set trembling,
you hear how the voices of death
are nourished by their skies—
ourselves, trembling,
What strange heavens?

God sleeps there.
Leaves which you bend
rock him, the enclosed water of our hearts, nights,
dead water.

II

Across the bare sky—
of voices, of terrors that cry out, die—
you row.

With lanterns lit.
to my father i. m.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Bol

katalanisch | Jaume Subirana

Buit, que l'hivern és cru,
busca en l'espera
grans de raïm, la llum
de les cireres.
Ara mateix l'olor
del fons és freda,
talment un cor amb por.
Però batega.

© Jaume Subirana
aus: El rastre de l’animal més lliure
Proa, 1994
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Bowl

englisch

Empty, for winter is harsh,
it searches while it waits
for grape seeds, the light
of cherries.
At this moment the background
smell is cold,
like a fearful heart.
But beating.

Translated by Anna Crowe

Ankunft

katalanisch | Albert Roig

— “Els morts de l’abril, els narcisos,
i la claror, ja plena,
i el Riu que se’ns emporta,
i és el Cel fosc lluent i és tota ombra
d’encesa joia i d’encès cor la nua nit, de noia,                      
blanca, gessamí,
cant
a cel nu.

Aquí dins queda-t’hi, flor inversa
encara en l’aigua càlida closa,
ingràvida encara.

Fins que, la Cara del Cel, trenques aigües
i ja et reveles, el teu primer plor,
com un mar i uns ulls
d’on tornem a néixer.

T’hem acollit. A l’habitació blanca del dolor.
I els llavis del dolor, que es tornen a tancar.
I les fonts blanques.
 
El nostre darrer dia ens rebel•lem
perquè som tan lleugers,
tant sols pètals
d’olor.”

© Albert Roig
aus: La traductière, num. 28
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

Ankunft

englisch

— “The April dead, the narcissi,
and the light, now at its brightest, and the River that carries us away.
And it’s the dark Heaven shining and it is all shadow of burning jewel
and with burning heart the bare Night, as a girl, white, jasmine.

Here within is where you should stay, inverted flower
still caught in the warm water, still weightless.

Until, the Face of Heaven, you break your waters
and reveal yourself at last. Your first tears. Like a sea and eyes.
With eyes just dawning, the sea, deep pupil from which we are reborn.

We have welcomed you. To the white room of pain.
And the lips of pain, that close again. And the white springs.
On our last day we rebel because we are so light.
Just petals of scent”.

Translated by Anna Crowe

A la poesia

katalanisch | Ponç Pons

Des d’una illa de mots,
entre ullastres i llibres,
mentre sent escoltant
la bellesa del vent
que escriure és respirar,
comprendre, fer l’amor
i l’art ens humanitza,
t’ho diré passional:
t’estim i sense tu
res tindria emoció
ni seria tan cert
açò que en diuen viure.

Amb les llengües del cor
i tinta com el mar
generós de les illes,
sembram versos per fer
florir lliures i oberts
al sagrat cos del món
sentit i veritat.

Més que d’on hem nascut
som del lloc que estimam
i lectors agraïts
que tenim el que dam
feim diversos un sol
gran poema on no hi ha
més pàtria que la vida.

© Dia mundial de la poesia
Barcelona: Dia mundial de la poesia, 2009
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

To poetry

englisch

Out of an island of words,
among wild olive trees and books,
while I feel, listening to
the beauty of the wind,
that to write is to breathe,
to understand, to make love
and art makes us human,
I will tell you, passionately:
I love you and without you
nothing would have feeling
nor would it be as sure,
that thing they call living.

With the tongues of the heart
and with ink like the generous
sea of the islands,
we sow verses to make
meaning and truth
flower open and free
in the holy body of the world.

More than from our birthplace
we are from the place we love
and as grateful readers
who hold what we give
we make of our diversity one single
great poem in which life
is the only country.

Translation from Catalan by Anna Crowe

QÜESTIÓ DE TEMPS

katalanisch | David Castillo

Jo sóc a dins
i tu ets a fora.
Tots dos estem enganxats a alguna cosa:
una droga,
un amor que es resisteix a l'oblit,
com un tumor de la memòria
que ens rossega com el ratolí que no dorm.

Tu ets a dins
i jo sóc a fora,
fora de tu
sense recordar quan no em deixaves entrar,
quan no et deixava sortir,
quan ens destorbàvem
com un dia de treball,
com una trucada telefònica durant la migdiada,
com una dent trencada el cap de setmana,
fins a adonar-me que quan tu entres
jo surto,
i quan torno ja no et trobo.

No marxis sense abans avisar-me,
no vull sorpreses si em quedo.

© David Castillo
aus: Downtown
Barcelona: Icaria, 2005
Audio production: Institut Ramon Llull

A question of time

englisch

I am inside
and you are out.
We are both hooked on something:
a drug,
love that resists being forgotten,
like a tumour of the memory
that gnaws at us like the mouse that never sleeps.

You are inside
and I am out,
outside you
with no memory of when you wouldn’t let me come in,
of when I wouldn’t let you go out,
when we bothered each other
like a work day,
like a phone-call mid-siesta,
like a tooth broken at the weekend,
until I realise that when you come in
I go out,
and when I come back I can’t find you.

Don’t go away without telling me first,
I don’t want any surprises if I stay.

Translated by Anna Crowe

HA VINGUT JA L’HIVERN SENSE SORPRENDRE’M

katalanisch | Teresa Pascual

Ha vingut ja l'hivern sense sorprendre’m.
M’avisaven la fosca dels matins
i l’obstinat silenci sobre els arbres,
la malaltissa llum,
la nit anticipada.
I ara ja no regresse al santuari
de les hores que m’he trobat als peus
ni sé per quina arena caminar
ni sé quines pregàries demane.
Ha vingut ja l'hivern sobre l’espill
d’una cara que costa reconèixer,
d’un cos espectador entre les coses
que no sé qui ha posat tan lluny de mi
que al tacte sobre elles no m’arriba
i adormides les mans abandona.

© Teresa Pascual
aus: Arena
Audio production: institut ramon llull

WINTER HAS FAILED TO TAKE ME BY SURPRISE

englisch

Winter has failed to take me by surprise.
I was forewarned by the morning darkness
and the obstinate silence in the trees,
the sickly light,
the early dusk.
And now I no longer go back to the sanctuary
of the hours I once found at my feet
nor do I know which sands to tread
nor yet what prayers to offer.
Winter has already come in the mirror
of a face that is hard to recognise,
of a body that stands and gazes at things
that someone unknown has placed so far from me
that touching them never reaches me
and, my hands gone numb, abandons.

Translated by Anna Crowe