duminică, 18 iunie 2017

Ramon Lopez Velarde (1888-1921)


Candelabrul

Pe vârful încununat de raze
Al fiinţei mele din metal
Ce goneşte umbrele şi, cizelând,
Cu o mână divină şi una terestră
Mă încoronează;
În orgia dimineţii, mă înnec cu albastru,
Precum un smarald,
Deopotrivă central şi esential ca un arbust de roză;
În splendoarea cu relflexe mierii
A castelor mele activităţi,
Unde viul şi inertul îmi sunt date
Drept păşuni;
În mistica lăcomie,
Unde totul se potenţează şi dispare
Prin kabala ardentă ce îmi poartă numele,
M-am identificat cu simbolul
Candelabrului în formă de corabie
Suspendat în cupole creole,
Radiind înţelepciune cristalină şi rugăciuni fierbinţi.

O, candelabru-corabie,
Cuplul reunit la altar
Se supune unei singure porunci: venerează.
Tu eşti vasul ce iluminează
divinele bazine:
Umilinţa mea absoarbe prezenţa radioasă şi capătă nuanţe de oranj,
Căci ancorat în tainica eminenţă,
Este zborul pescăruşilor mei
Şi fumegândul suspin al flotei mele.

O, candelabru-corabie: Dumnezeu îţi vede pulsul
Şi îţi cunoaşte încremenirea
Din cupolele sacre,
Fără de plictis sau decădere. 

Dai viaţă rugăciunii preaînalte
Cu pasiunea climatelor.
Cunoşti ororile
Din insula coloniştilor leproşi,
Domiciliul polar al
Urşilor donjunaeşti,
Golful magnetic
Al freneziilor venerei,
Bâtlanii ecuatoriali
Ca nişte ezitări ale aerului.

Şi astfel, în faţa Domnului nostru,
Încremeneşti în viaţă
Precum parfumul preminunatei tale flori.

Paralel cu a ta himeră,
Eliberat de sofisme,
Transform jarul arderilor mele primăvăratice
În cristale,
Arborez bucuria şi agonia,
Şi îmi suspend durerile ca prisme.

Candelabru care pluteşti asemeni mie:
Sub povara absolutului.
Cârmeşti cu chibzuinţă prora
Către un arhipelag aurit, văduvit de nelinişte.
Candelabru, ambarcaţiune hermetică,
Privind cristalul tău maritim
Visele-mi încăpăţânate
Se prefac în tăcere, anulate:
Nemişcătoare volburi adorante.


Din volumul Zozobra (1919)

*


The Chandelier

In the radiant summit
That my metallic person
Elucidates and perfects,  
Where a heavenly hand
And an earthly one place
A crown upon my brow;

In the matinal orgy in whose blueness I drown,
I am emery-like,
And both central and essential like a rosebush;
In the mellifluous glory of
My active chastity,
Where the living and the inert
Are given to me as pasture;

In the mystic gluttony,
In which everything is enlarged and annihilated
By the ardent kabala that is my given name,
I have found my symbol
In the ship-shaped chandelier
Hanging from Creole cupolas,
In its sage crystal and its faithful prayer.

O chandelier, o vessel,
At the altar, as a recondite couple,
We obey one single commandment: venerate.
You are the vessel that illuminates
Divine basins:
In your iridescent presence
My humility grows and oranges,
Because in your silent eminence,
Anchored in you,
Are the flight of my seagulls
And the sobbing smoke of my fleet.

O chandelier, O vessel: God sees your pulse
And knows that you are paralyzed
In these sacred cupolas,
But not because of decrepitude or vapidity.

You animate your high prayer
With the temper of climates.
You know the horror
Of insular leper colonies
The polar domicile of
Donjuanesque bears,
The magnetic bay
Of venereal frenzy,
The equatorial herons,
Like airborne sculptures.

That is why, before our Lord,
You paralyze your experience,
In the scent of your best flower

Parallel to your chimera,
Free of sophisms,
I transform the embers of my igneous spring
Into crystal,
Hoist my joy and my plight,
And suspend my sores like prisms.

Chandelier, you sail like me:
Struck down with the absolute.
You aim your seasoned prow
Towards a golden, mourning-free archipelago.
Chandelier, hermetic skiff:
Before your maritime crystal,
My recalcitrant dreams
Are rendered silent, zero-like,

Motionless, lofty and adoring.


Translated into English by Luis Juan SOLÍS CARRILLO 


***

Ancora

                                   


Până să arunc ancora în comoara
Ultimei mele iubiri, simt nevoia
De a alerga prin lume, înfierbântat ca un atlet –
Cu tinereţea, şi o sămânţă aurie, prin buzunare.

Să îmbrăţişez doresc un şarpe al Nilului,
O viperă ascunsă în şalul Cleopatrei,
Şi să ascult tulburele solilocviu
Al Sfintei Fecioare din Piramidă.

Voi debarca în ţinutul natal,
Ca să mă fac copil şi să trasez în ceară
Cu un gest fraged, pe vechea mea tăbliţă,
Profilul celei din Guadalupe.

Cu sărutări precum Hinduşii sau Polinezienii,
Ca sălbăticiunile dungate ale codrului sau urşii cei lânoşi,
O să-mi arunc ancora lângă o femeie a locului de baştină,
Ce poartă lungi cercei în urechiuşe.

Şi voi grăi cu Dragostea – să-I spun
Cum orice crunt păcat mi-a fost iubire-adâncă.
Din îngrădirea mânăstirii mele se-nalţă lina tânguire
De-a buşilea să-ţi iasă în întâmpinare,
Aidoma unei flori de albă spumă
Pe suprafaţa ceştii cu cafea.

Şi fiindcă, prin degetele-mi înfricoşate, cinci simţuri
Se-ncleştează de cele cinci măreţe continente,
Astfel eu pot, ah dragoste din urmă şi ţel suprem al meu,
Să îţi cuprind în palme sufletul din Guadalupe.

Din volumul El Son del Corazón (1921) 

*

The Anchor



Before I cast anchor in the treasure
Of my last love, I have need
To course the world, fevered as a racer –
In my pockets, youth
And a golden seed.

And to embrace a serpent of the Nile
Such as the chlamys of Cleopatra hid,
And to hearken to the quiet soliloquy
Of the Virgin Mary in the pyramid.

To disembark in my native land,
To make myself a child and childlike trace
On my old school slate, in crayon,
The profile of a Guadalupean face –

To kiss like the Hindoos or the Polynesians,
Like the striped wood beasts or shaggy bears,
And to cast anchor by a countrywoman of mine,
Wearing long earrings in her small ears.

And to say to Love – of all my sins
Even the blackest were passionate lovers.
Out of my cloisters a miserere rises up
And moves toward you with the steps of a baby,
Or as the white island of bubble hovers
On the surface of a coffee cup.

And since my five fierce fingers of sense
Grasp the five great continents,
I can, O last love and ultimate goal,
Place my hand upon your Guadalupean soul.


Translated by H.R. Hays – www.poetryfoundation.org



vineri, 14 aprilie 2017

Kavafis


Un bătrân













În dosul zgomotos al cafenelei, cu capul aplecat
pe masă, stă singur un bătrân,
în faţa lui e un ziar.

Şi, cu amărăciunea comună vârstei înaintate,
se gândeşte cât de puţin s-a bucurat de anii
când putererea îi era întreagă, şi umbletul, şi vorba.

Ştie cât este de bătrân: o vede şi o simte.
I se pare totuşi că tânăr abia ieri a fost.
Cât de puţin timp a trecut, aşa puţin.

Se gândeşte la Moderaţie, cum l-a mai păcălit,
cum a putut să creadă – ce nebun –
amăgitoarea vorbă care spune: “Şi mâine e o zi. Mai ai atâta timp.”

Îşi aminteşte frântele îmbolduri, jertfa
bucuriei. Fiece şansă pierdută
îşi râde-acum de precauţiile-i smintite.

Însă, preaplin de aduceri-aminte şi de gânduri,
bătrânul ameţeşte şi adoarme,
pe masa cafenelei odihnindu-şi capul.


*

An old man













At the noisy end of the café, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.

And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he’s aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so very brief. 

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed—what madness—
that cheat who said: “Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.”

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the café table. 



Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard (http://www.cavafy.com/poems/content.asp?id=39&cat=1)

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992) 

sâmbătă, 11 februarie 2017

The Green Shawl


 A ghost tale inspired by Maria Răducanu’s musical spirits


Courtesy of www.PabloPicasso.org
                                                   
I was more than eager to sing on that night. It was as if  my spirit had been cut loose and finally released into a landscape which I could totally identify with. I had decided to cover my shoulders with the green shawl I had brought with me from abroad. I knew it would set off wonderfully the rosy skin of my cheeks, the pallid forehead and my curly copper locks. Moreover, the match between its grassy hues and my greenish blue eyes was perfect as it would set my gaze off sparkling like a billion dewdrops. The word is enchanted. I was enchanted with myself, my looks and of course my singing voice – a precious bouquet of rounded vowels and voluptuously rolled alliterations – in contrast with which my spoken tongue was merely a hushed whisper. I knew that the green shawl would suit me marvelously. But I couldn’t guess how it would transport me!
I felt a chill coil around my ankles as I stepped through the heavy doors and made my way down the aisle. The guitarist was patiently waiting for me up front. We had prepared a program with several chanties of different origins - English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Romanian. I especially looked forward to singing the Italian tune, Comme raggio di sol, a song that had always thrilled me as it spoke of how contemplating a beautiful woman was akin to gazing upon a divine essence. But the chill had set in and it would not easily leave my limbs. I only warmed up when I drew close to the electric radiator set up on the stage for us. And then I was free to fully cherish my moment of glory! My green shawl seemed to be working its magic through the audience gathered in the great directory hall of the old National Library of Bucharest. It was early in the winter of 2011 and the Library had removed its ponderous catalog from the hall, leaving the space open to private cultural initiatives such as ours on that evening.



I took a careful look around me, at the vaulting space that surrounded us and felt it strangely familiar. The oblong windows, with light metal frames in a dusky hue, stretched above the solid oak paneling of the walls, between sets of double marble columns which sustained the oval ceiling. The glass panels were opaque with age so that one could very easily imagine the ghostly faces of long-gone library readers curiously peering in at us through them. As we went through our program, it was as if spectral presences of the beings evoked by the songs would eerily pass in through the walls or moodily descend from the ceiling. The audience were holding their breaths as I was wrapping the shawl tightly around me and tossing my curls with an enticing smile. With every new tune I would swirl it differently around my shoulders to evoke the spirit of one nation or another almost unconsciously. We were all sharing the same inescapable space of music and imagination, as if a blue whimsical whale had gulped us down or was only considering our fates.
The evening was drawing to a close or so I imagined. I had one more tune to sing – Ionel Fernic’s lovely romance, Minciuna (The Lie). I had studied this bit for long and had adapted it perfectly to my artistic persona. I would play the perverse ingenue, toss my curls, flutter my eyelids, smile briskly and frown pouting. I had set up my mind to appear absolutely adorable to the people present. What I hadn’t counted on, however,  was that the spirits of the past would be equally entranced with my art!  As I struck the third or fourth measure in our song, the baroque yet crystalline tones of my voice were engulfed by an outburst powerful as a raging storm unleashed into an immense void. I held out my breath for a split second and my public equally froze. Suddenly, the oak paneling that was clasping the walls like a tight armor opened up and exhaled a rank of ghostly passengers that gathered solemnly around me, silently warding me off from the living crowd. Then my voice, shrill with anxiety, left my throat and traveled to the ceiling, making the candelabrum shake slightly. The ghosts looked up determinedly and I felt bound to imitate this movement of their eyes, only to see with horror that the thin crust covering the oval ceiling was slowly coming off and crumbling over the audience.
The ceiling started to swirl slowly as in a sandstorm with a translucent core, through which a bunch of rays soon pierced, of a blue-greenish hue, which appeared to be searching for something. The light moved its rays slowly caressing the frozen faces of the human and ghostly crowd, playing upon their lips and hands with tremulous intensity but soon afterwards it focused on my eyes and bosom and filled me with a cold light that dazzled my mind. I pulled the green shawl high above my head and dashed to the ground in an insane attempt to avoid being totally adsorbed by the chill and brilliance that danced upon me.
Through the velvet cushioning of my green haven I could hear murmurs and soon something  like my very own voice, only boosted by an unearthly, tremendous energy, rising upwards as it was repeating simultaneously all the tunes I had sang on that devilish night. I felt a deep melancholy longing within me as if I was letting go of my childhood and tried to utter a cry. But found that I couldn’t raise my voice above a mere whisper and felt convinced that my singing from now on would be nothing but a remote echo of the marvels I was hearing for the very last time...




Ada Carol

February 2017

sâmbătă, 26 noiembrie 2016

Florin Dochia Songs for Inanna/ Cantece pentru Inanna



Song for Inanna, 2

the light had frozen on your face,
you were a steamed mirror
before my burning mouth.

a mere breath – the flame
beyond the fog-drowned surface.

alone you shall engage the world,
as if lighting a cigarette
at the shuttered gable,
after a whole night lost
between one errand and another,
one morning’s sweat,
the dissipation and the disappointment
imprinted in the soft skin of the fruitful womb.

I had slammed the door shut for good,
our paths shall not cross each other again,
the last boatman is long lost in the storm
and my bones shall be resting

on the shore across the sea.

*

Cântec pentru Inanna, 2

îngheţase pe faţa ta lumina,
oglindă aburită erai
înaintea gurii mele fierbinţi.

doar o respiraţie - flacăra
din spatele suprafeţei înecate în ceaţă.
  
singură vei începe lumea,
ca şi cum ai aprinde o ţigară
la fereastra oarbă a mansardei,
după o noapte întreagă pierdută
între o rătăcire şi o altă rătăcire,
cu sudoarea unei dimineţi,
a unei epuizări, a unei dezamăgiri
întipărită în pielea moale a pântecului roditor.

trântisem uşa pentru totdeauna,
drumurile noastre nu se vor mai încrucişa,
ultimul barcagiu a pierit demult în furtună,
oasele mele se vor odihni
pe malul celălalt al mării.




Song for Inanna, 3

your thighs are hiding a wild beast,
which the hounds are still chasing
tracing its musky odour in the woods,
clad in your burning flesh,
you shelter and nourish its obstinacy
out of your greater mercy.

he rewards you with his gift,
with his errant seed
out of which dragonflies errupt
to fill up the air
breath in breath out
knotted into one another before setting themselves free
from the eggshell to embrace the flight.

your body folds alongside its vaulting
underneath the blue sky,
like a sheet of linen which the wind stole from a hill top,
as if divided by seven,
night after night,
moist as the dew of a holy morning
in april.

*

Cântec pentru Inanna, 3

coapsele tale ascund un animal sălbatic,
ogarii încă aleargă în păduri
urmând aromele-i de mosc,
îl îmbraci în carnea-ţi fierbinte,
îl aperi şi-i hrăneşti înverşunarea
din prea mare mila ta.

el te răsplăteşte cu darul lui,
cu sămânţa lui călătoare
din care se stârnesc libelulele
şi umplu aerul
respiraţie cu respiraţie
înnodate înainte de a se elibera
de coaja oului şi a îmbrăţişa zborul.

trupul tău se pliază după voltele
pe care le face sub cerul albastru,
ca un cearşaf furat de vânt de pe culme,
ca o împărţire la şapte,
noapte de noapte,
umedă ca iarba de roua unei sfinte dimineţi
de aprilie.



Song for Inanna, 4

your scream like an aerodynamic tunnel
wherein I chase after tulip bulbs
until they turn to butterflies and unbolt
the iron gates of a barely-audible music.

your scream is the bomb with an ecstatic effect
out of which burst splinters of solid air and
delve into my arteries as if some
underground channels were filled with amniotic liquid
and huddled through by electric rat-people.

your scream certifies the big bang theory
which engenders one universe after another and
these pierce you one by one, as you hold inside
an olimpus with gods that have taken refuge
from battles of the alcove,

you hold the promise of a pedestrian paradise,
you hold the latency of a barefooted light
that will explode within my hungy heart
from my former bird-self nothing will remain
nothing else but its flight.

*

Cântec pentru Inanna, 4

ţipătul tău ca un tunel aerodinamic
în care antrenez bulbi de lalele
până se fac fluturi şi desferecă
porţile de carne ale unei muzici abia auzite.

ţipătul tău e bomba cu efect extaziant
din care izbucnesc cioburi de aer solid şi
mi se strecoară în artere ca în nişte
canale subterane pline cu lichid amniotic
şi cutreierate de şobolanoizi electrici.

ţipătul tău întăreşte ideea unui big bang
din care ies universuri după universuri şi
te pătrund rând pe rând, ai în tine
un olimp de zei refugiaţi
din pricina unor războaie de alcov,

ai în tine promisiunea unui paradis pedestru,
ai în tine latenţa unei lumini în picioarele goale,
ea o să explodeze în inima mea flămândă
şi din pasărea care am fost va să rămână
nimic altceva decât zborul.



Song for Inanna, 6

you arise in white, brimming with desire,
I dispel your fogs, I unchain your dream,
you deck our surroundings in holly attire,
you are full of glory, I am one of your kin.
 
here am I fingering playful burning peaches –
you have hid with care heaven in their den  –
no one will be paying me thirty silver pieces
to ransom my guilt and accept my ban.

you shroud me in terror, you rip me apart,
teacher of my darkness, preach about the pain,
secretly adore me, hate and lie to me,
you’re the falling sword and I am the slain.

*

Cântec pentru Inanna, 6

vii la mine albă, plină de dorinţi,
te dezbrac de ceţuri, îţi desferec visul,
pui în jurul nostru aure de sfinţi,
eşti lumină toată, parc-aş fi promisul.

prind în palme jocul piersicii fierbinţi -
ai ascuns cu grijă-n sâmburi paradisul -
nimeni nu-mi va da treizeci de arginţi
ca să-mi cumpăr vina şi să fiu proscrisul.

mă înfăşori în spaimă, mă sfâşii în dinţi,
mă înveţi ce-nseamnă bezna şi abisul,
mă iubeşti în taină, mă urăşti, mă minţi,
eşti mereu călăul şi eu sunt ucisul.

Din Volumul Cantece pentru Inanna/ Songs for Inanna de Florin Dochia (Fundatia Culturala Libra, 2016). English version by Adriana Bulz, drawings by Daniela Randasu.