Toronto flora of “high summer”: The Sunflower

Sunflowers in Toronto 1_July 27th 2013Sunflowers in Toronto 2_July 27th 2013

Sunflower – dawn, high noon or dusk hour –

Why – for me – do you have such power?

You: my glad grown-up face when I’m

open to joy, not anger’s toy; when I’m

frank with feeling, not secretly reeling.

In you I go ahead, ask The Question! not

put it to rest and, oh – hope against hope for the best.

You are honesty, innocence – simple, true – and

guess why I love you so?  My spirit does grow!

.

Alexander Best,  July 31st, 2013

Sunflowers in Toronto 3_July 27th 2013


Robert Gurney: “Horneritos” / “Ovenbirds”

ZP_Crested Hornero in Argentina_Furnarius cristatus en Argentina_foto por Nick AthanasZP_Crested Hornero in Argentina_Furnarius cristatus en Argentina_foto por Nick Athanas

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Robert Gurney

“Horneritos”

( a Ramón Minieri )

.

Recibí un mail desde la Patagonia

acerca de unos pájaros.

.

Tienen el plumaje de la cabeza

estilo punk.

.

Dicen que son oriundos

del Paraguay y del Chaco

pero que a veces vuelan

hasta la Pampa

y otras incluso

hasta la Patagonia.

.

El mail describe

cómo descienden a comer

en el patio de un amigo

que vive en Río Colorado.

.

Luego vuelven a un árbol

para posar ante la cámara.

.

Ni siquiera se molestan

en peinarse primero.

.

Otro amigo,

que vive en Londres,

me dice que se llaman

horneritos copetones

y que sus nidos se parecen

a los hornos de los panaderos.

.

Pero no es eso

lo que me llama la atención

sino la imagen

del horno de barro

en la pared

de la casa de Vallejo*

en Santiago de Chuco.

.

Hay pájaros

que van y vienen,

entrando y saliendo

de su boca.

.

* César Vallejo, poeta peruano, 1892 – 1938

.     .     .

Robert Gurney

“Ovenbirds”

( to Ramón Minieri )

.

I had an e-mail the other day

from Patagonia

about some birds

with punk-style head feathers.

.

It said they are native

to Paraguay

and The Chaco

but that they sometimes

fly south

to the Pampas

and, sometimes,

even, to Patagonia.

.

It describes how

they come down to feed

in a friend’s patio

in Río Colorado.

.

Then they fly back into a tree

to pose for the camera

without even bothering

to comb their hair first.

.

Another friend,

who lives in London,

tells me that they are called

horneritos copetones

(furnarius cristatus);

in English –

Crested Horneros

or Ovenbirds;

and that they nest

in shrubs in scrub.

.

It seems

that they are so named

because they make

globular mud nests

that resemble

bakers’ ovens.

.

It wasn’t so much this,

though,

that filled my mind

but an image

of an oven in a wall

inside Vallejo’s* house

in Santiago de Chuco

with birds flying

in and out of it.

.

(St. Albans, England, June 2013)

.

* César Vallejo, Peruvian poet, 1892 – 1938

.     .     .

Robert Gurney nació en Luton, Bedfordshire, Inglaterra. Divide su tiempo ahora entre St Albans, Hertfordshire, Inglaterra, y la aldea de Port Eynon en El País de Gales. Su esposa Paddy es galesa. Tienen dos hijos y dos nietos. Su primer profesor de Español en el liceo de Luton, el señor Enyr Jones, era argentino, precisamente patagónico galés, de Gaiman. Las clases eran una oasis de paz, amistad e inspiración: un grupo pequeño en la biblioteca, sentado en un círculo alrededor de una elegante mesa de madera, con los diccionarios a la mano. En la Universidad de St Andrew’s (Escocia) su profesor fue el Profesor L. J. (“Ferdy”) Woodward, quien daba maravillosas clases sobre la poesía española. Luego, en el ciclo de doctorado, en Birkbeck College, Universidad de Londres, tenía al profesor Ian Gibson como mentor inspiracional. Con la supervisión de Ian preparó su tesis doctoral sobre Juan Larrea (The Poetry of Juan Larrea, 1975), poeta al que entrevistó en francés en treinta y seis oportunidades (200 horas) en 1972, en Córdoba, Argentina. La Universidad del País Vasco publicó La poesía de Juan Larrea en 1985. Mantuvo una correspondencia intensa con el poeta (inédita). Entrevistó a Salvador Dalí, a Gerardo Diego, a Luis Vivanco (el traductor de Larrea), a José María de Cossío y a los amigos de Larrea en España y Argentina: Gregorio San Juan, Osvaldo Villar, Luis Waysmann y otros. Escribe poesía y cuentos. Ha escrito una novela ‘anglo-argentina’ (inédita). Su último poemario La libélula / The Dragonfly (edición bilingüe) salió este año en Madrid. Su próximo libro, también bilingüe, será La Casa de empeño / The Pawn Shop (Ediciones Lord Byron). Prepara un libro de cuentos breves sobre sus años en Buganda.

Para leer más poemas de Robert Gurney cliquea aquí:  http://verpress.com/

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Robert Gurney was born in Luton, Befordshire, England. He divides his time now between St Albans, Hertfordshire and the village of Port Eynon in Wales. His wife Paddy is Welsh. They have two sons and two grandsons. His first Spanish teacher at Luton Grammar School, Mr Enyr Jones, was Argentine, Patagonian Welsh, to be precise, from Gaiman. The classes were an oasis of peace, friendship and inspiration: a small group sitting in a circle around an elegant wooden table in the library, with dictionaries to hand. At the University of St Andrew’s in Scotland, his teacher was Professor L.J. (“Ferdy”) Woodward who gave marvelous lectures on Spanish poetry. Then, for his PhD at Birkbeck College, the University of London, he had Ian Gibson as his inspirational tutor. Under Ian’s supervision, he wrote his thesis on Juan Larrea (The Poetry of Juan Larrea, 1975), published by the University of the Basque Country as La poesía de Juan Larrea in 1985. He interviewed Larrea, in French, on 36 separate occasions in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1972, and conducted an intense correspondence with him. He interviewed Salvador Dalí, Gerardo Diego (in Spain and France), Luis Vivanco (Larrea’s translator), Jose María de Cossío and Larrea’s friends in Argentina: Ovaldo Villar, Luis Waysmann and others. He has written one “Anglo-Argentine” novel (unpublished). He writes poetry and short stories and is currently preparing a book of short stories on his years in Buganda.

http://verpress.com/

.     .     .     .     .


Alan Clark: “La Lengua” y “Dentro de Ti”

ZP_La Lengua_painting by Alan ClarkZP_La Lengua_pintura de Alan Clark

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La Lengua

.

Estoy “viviendo” tu leyenda sobre mi lengua

(es ésta la tierra santa en que vagaremos…)

Contigo…degustas como las palabras que me vienen,

esta lengua rastreando tus “dondes” más dulces,

y estas palabras hacen cosquillas en la garganta.

Pero está en tu piel que conozco lo que es

la adoración – la lengua, con franqueza, sobre

la piel de sal / sobre brazas de ti

(no bajo del agua sino en un nuevo aire de sal)

en que el universo – que es tú – ríe un “yo” para

bajarme más y más y inventir todas las palabras

que nunca te igualarán – la ola y “materia”

del cuento en el lenguaje de nuestro sueño

unido en nosotros…

Somos diosas y dioses del sudor,

del pecho, de las manos, y de los labios que

hablan solamente cuando no hay nada decir que:

Quede en en lugar oscuro donde están conocidos

tus muslos en lo de mi que está bastante liviano

para buscarte.

.     .     .

La Lengua

.

I’m living out your legend on my tongue

(this is the holy land we’re wandering in)

with you tasting like the words that come to me,

this tongue tracking down your softest “wheres”,

these words tickling my throat.  But in your flesh

I know what worship is, tongue directly

to the salt skin and fathoms of yourself

(not under water, in a new salt air)

in which the universe of you is laughing me

to go down and down to make up all the words

that will never equal you, wave and matter

as the story in the language of our dream

together:  goddesses and gods of sweat,

of breasts and hands and lips that only speak

when there’s nothing left to say but:   Linger,

in the dark place where your thighs are met

by what of me is light enough to find you.

.     .     .

Dentro de Ti –

.

Puedo ver la materia prima de sombras

y como el barro se torne en una clase de luz;

que soy como un pez que debe nadar

dentro de un mundo donde se arremolinan la hierba del mar

mientras levantas las manos durante un día caluroso…

Me siento dentro de ti la verde pura de una planta que

se torna en el calor de un horno de sangre;

lo que está ni despierto ni durmiendo en

la concha de un otro día que promete

todo de sí mismo para expectativas no perladas…

El olor en tu animal, la flor de mi lengua de pavo real;

el diccionario de mis sentidos no deletreados como besos;  y

siempre – siempre – la libertad del cielo

recogiendo las plumas de un pájaro – tú – que

se monta los alientos cuando miran tus ojos que

pueden asegurar – por la ley rarísima – algo que

nunca viere alguien:

las balanzas de los arcos de iris breves

y la creación del mundo.

.     .     .

In You –

.

I can see what stuff shadows are made of

and how clay can become a kind of light,

how I’m like a fish who can’t not swim

into a world where the seagrass is swirling

when you lift up your arms on a hot day…

feel in you the raw green of a plant

being turned into heat in an oven of blood,

what lies not awake, not asleep inside

the shell of another day promising

all of itself to no pearl expectations…

smell in your animal, the flower

of my peacock tongue, the dictionary

of my senses unspelled as kisses, and

always, always, the freedom of the sky

gathering the feathers of the bird you are,

who rides the winds when your eyes behold,

who can claim by the strangest of laws

what no-one else could ever see:  the scales

of brief rainbows and the world’s creation.

.     .     .

Poeta y pintor, Señor Alan Clark divide su vida entre Maine en EE.UU. y el México.  Guerrero y Sangre del Corazón fue publicado por Henning Bartsch (México, D.F.)  Tiene también un poemario de 2010:  Where They Know.   Sus piezas del teatro incluyen:  The End of It, The Couch – The Table – The Bed, and The Beast – y fueron montados en EE.UU. y México.  En 2004 tuvo una exhibición de sus pinturas en Rockland, Maine en Farnsworth Art Museum – Sangre y Piedra.

.

Alan Clark is an artist and poet, dividing his life between Maine and Mexico.  Guerrero and Heart’s Blood was published in Mexico City by Henning Bartsch.  A book of poems, Where They Know, was published in 2010.  Clark’s plays –including adaptations of Guerrero and Heart’s Blood – include: The End of It, The Couch – The Table – The Bed, and The Beast;  these have been staged in the U.S.A. and in Mexico.  Blood and Stone:  Paintings by Alan Clark,was at the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine,in 2004.

Versiones en español / Spanish versions:   Alexander Best

.     .     .     .     .


¿Eva, La Culpable? / Was IT All Eve’s Fault?

ZP_El Adán reconsiderado...Piense en él dos veces_Adam reconsidered...Give him a second thought!ZP_El Adán reconsiderado…¡Piense en él dos veces!_Adam reconsidered…Give him a second thought!

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No Eva…Solo era una cantidad excesiva del Amor, su Culpa.”

(Aemilia Lanyer, poetisa inglés, 1569 – 1645, en su obra Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum:  La Apología de Eva por La Mujer, 1611)

.

Jee Leong Koh

Eva, La Culpable

.

Aunque se ha ido del jardín, no se para de amarles…

Dios le convenció cuando sacó rápidamente de su manga planetaría

un ramo de luz.   Miraron pasar el desfile de animales.

Le contó el chiste sobre el Arqueópterix, y se dio cuenta de

las plumas y las garras brutales – un poema – el primero de su tipo.

En una playa, alzado del océano con un grito, él entró en ella;

y ella, en olas onduladas, notó que el amor une y separa.

.

El serpiente fue un tipo más callado.  Llegaba durante el otoño al caer la tarde,

viniendo a través de la hierba alta, y apenas sus pasos dividió las briznas.

Cada vez él le mostró una vereda diferente.  Mientras que vagaban,

hablaron de la belleza de la luz golpeando en el árbol abedul;

el comportamiento raro de las hormigas;   la manera más justa de

partir en dos una manzana.

Cuando apareció Adán, el serpiente se rindió a la felicidad la mujer Eva.

.

…Porque ella era feliz cuando encontró a Adán bajo del árbol de la Vida

y aún está feliz – y Adán permanece como Adán:   inarticulado, hombre de mala ortografía;

su cuerpo estando centrado precariamente en sus pies;  firme en su mente que

Eva es la mujer pristina y que él es el hombre original.   Necesitó a ella

y por eso rasguñó en el suelo – y creyó en el cuento de la costilla.

Eva necesitó a la necesidad de Adán – algo tan diferente de Dios y el Serpiente,

Y después de éso ella se encontró a sí misma afuera del jardín.

.     .     .

“Not Eve, whose Fault was only too much Love.”
(Aemilia Lanyer, English poetess, 1569 – 1645, in
Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum:  Eve’s Apologie in Defence of Women, 1611)

.

Jee Leong Koh

Eve’s Fault”

.
Though she has left the garden, she does not stop loving them.
God won her when he whipped out from his planetary sleeve
a bouquet of light. They watched the parade of animals pass.
He told her the joke about the Archaeopteryx, and she noted
the feathers and the killing claws, a poem, the first of its kind.
On a beach, raised from the ocean with a shout, he entered her
and she realized, in rolling waves, that love joins and separates.
.
The snake was a quieter fellow. He came in the fall evenings
through the long grass, his steps barely parting the blades.
Each time he showed her a different path. As they wandered,
they talked about the beauty of the light striking the birch,
the odd behavior of the ants, the fairest way to split an apple.
When Adam appeared, the serpent gave her up to happiness.
.
For happy she was when she met Adam under the tree of life,
still is, and Adam is still Adam, inarticulate, a terrible speller,
his body precariously balanced on his feet, his mind made up
that she is the first woman and he the first man. He needed
her and so scratched down and believed the story of the rib.
She needed Adam’s need, so different from God and the snake
– and that was when she discovered herself outside the garden.

.     .     .     .     .

Jee Leong Koh nació en Singapur y vive en Nueva York.   Es profesor, también autor de cuatro poemarios.

Jee Leong Koh was born in Singapore and now lives in New York City where he is a teacher.

He is the author of four poetry collections: Payday Loans, Equal to the Earth, Seven Studies for a Self Portrait and The Pillow Book.

.     .     .

Traducción en español  /  Translation into Spanish:  Alexander Best

.     .     .     .     .


Alicia Claudia González Maveroff: “The Storyteller in The Zócalo” / “El Fabulador del Zócalo”

ZP_Mexican skeleton doll_Muñeco esqueleto mexicano

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Alicia Claudia González Maveroff

“The Storyteller in The Zócalo”

.

Earlier today in the Square there was a storyteller

enchanting people with his words – everyone who

was in and around that patch of pavement where he stood.

Those who saw him there were all listening without

so much as uttering a sound.

In The Zócalo this man earns his livelihood, selling

pretty little dolls that wiggle and sway.

Even though you can’t see any strings pulled,

you don’t know how it’s done,

these little dolls –skeletons, rather –

dance, lie down, jump, kneel and walk,

while the vendor chatters like a “fairground charlatan”.

Incredible it was, the gift of the gab that fellow displayed.

He whiled away the time offering to passers-by

a cadaverous doll which seemed to be alive-and-kicking.

Children, mute, admired the dancing doll:

Look how the dolly can dance!”

The adults present laughed to themselves, “Yeah, right,”

as if to say:  “What a scam.”

Yet he captured every one of us, this guy with his confabulations,

presenting those dolls that never ceased to dance.

Who knows what the trick is? There’s no harm in it…

For that reason, in fact, one has to hand it to him this evening,

knowing that this is all a hoax yet rascal-ishly fascinating…

Me, he left me bamboozled, making me believe him,

so I’ve gone and bought one of those little dolls

in order to be rewarded with a performance.

And I have left the Square happy, yes – knowing that he‘s a crook

.

Mexico City,  July 22nd, 2012

.     .     .

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff

“El Fabulador del Zócalo”

.

Estaba el fabulador en la plaza hoy temprano,
encantando con palabras,
a todos los que rodeaban el sector donde se hallaba.
Esos que allí se encontraban, lo escuchaban sin hablar.
En el Zócalo este hombre gana su vida, vendiendo
unos muñequitos lindos pequeños que se menean.
Aunque no se ven cordeles, ni sabemos como lo hace,
estos pequeños muñecos, a más decir esqueletos,
bailan, se barazan, se acuestan, saltan, se arrodillan y andan,
mientras el vendedor habla como “charlatan de feria”.
Es increible la labia que este señor nos demuestra.
Pasa su tiempo ofreciendo, a todos los transeuntes,
el muñeco cadaverico, que está vivito y coleando.
Mientras el muñeco baila, los niños, quietos, lo admiran.
¡Cómo baila el muñequito!
Los grandes, sonriendo “a penas”, como diciendo
“¡es un cuento!”
Pero a todos ha atrapado, este señor con su charla,
ofreciendo los muñecos que no paran de bailar.
¿Quién sabe como es el truco? No lo hacen nada mal…
Por eso, por la actuación, que ha brindado él esta tarde,
sabiendo que es un engaño, que es un vil fascinador…
Yo, me he dejado embaucar, haciendo que le creía,
le he comprado un muñequito, para premiar su actuación.
Y me he marchado contenta, sabiendo que es un ladrón…

.
México D.F.,  22 – 07 – 2012

.

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff is a professor living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Her credo, in a single precise sentence, is:  I believe in Utopia – because Reality strikes me as impossible.

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff es una profesora que vive en Buenos Aires, Argentina.  En una oración sucinta, su consejo es ésto: Creo en la utopía, porque la realidad me parece imposible.

.

Translation and interpretation from Spanish into English / Versión inglés:  Alexander Best

.     .     .     .     .


Three Poets from Chad, DRCongo and Ivory Coast: “…so that the poem that has forever haunted my steps survives” / Trois poètes du Tchad, de la RDCongo et de la Côte d’Ivoire: “…pour la survie du poème qui hante mes pas depuis toujours”

ZP_A Baobab tree in South Africa during the dry season when Baobabs shed their leaves_Un arbre Baobab Za pendant la saison sèche en Afrique du SudZP_A Baobab tree in South Africa during the dry season when they shed their leaves.  Traditionally, the ancient, ruggéd Baobab has served as an informal community meeting place where elders tell stories, the town crier announces startling news, and where conflicts may be resolved through public debate under the invisible eye of the ancestors_Un arbre Baobab Za pendant la saison sèche en Afrique du Sud

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Three Poets from Chad, DRCongo and Ivory Coast:  

“…so that the poem that has forever haunted my steps survives” / 

Trois poètes du Tchad, de la RDCongo et de la Côte d’Ivoire:

“…pour la survie du poème qui hante mes pas depuis toujours”

.     .     .

Traductions en anglais / Translations from French into English – droit d’auteur / © Patrick Williamson

Tous les poèmes – droit de chaque auteur / © the respective poets

.     .     .

Nimrod Bena Djangrang (born 1959, Chad)

“The Cry of the Bird”

(for Daniel Bourdanné)

.

I wanted to be overcome with silence

I abandoned the woman I love

I closed myself to the bird of hope

That invited me to climb the branches

Of the tree, my double

I created havoc in the space of my garden

I opened up my lands

I found the air that circulates between the panes

Pleasant. I was happy

To be my life’s witch doctor

When the evening rolled out its ghosts

The bird in me awoke again

Its cry spread anguish

In the heart of my kingdom.

.     .     .

Le Cri de l’Oiseau”

(à Daniel Bourdanné)

.

J’ai voulu m’enivrer de silence

J’ai délaissé la femme aimée

Je me suis fermé à l’oiseau de l’espoir

Qui m’invitait à gravir les branches

De l’arbre, mon double

J’ai saccagé l’espace de mon jardin

J’ai ouvert mes terroirs

J’ai trouvé agréable l’air qui circule

Entre les vitres.  Je me suis rejoui

D’être le sorcier de ma vie

Alors que le soir déroulait ses spectres

L’oiseau en moi de nouveau s’est éveillé

Son cri diffusait l’angoisse

Au sein de mon royaume.

.     .     .

Kama Sywor Kamanda (born 1952, Democratic Republic of Congo)

“In the Silence of Hearts”

.

Now you are queen of my kingdom of dreams!

Woman, I am lost in your darkest night

Without a guiding star!

Carried away by your everchanging soul

As on an infinite sea,

I am drowning in the light of your desires:

Your love of its sensual pleasures transfigured me,

And I distanced my life from the shores of solitude.

It is softness in my heart

Nourished by the blood of lovers!

The fears on the flanks of wind are ripening,

I pray for heaven

To protect your life from all suffering,

And the force of love to safeguard your freedom

Wherever honour

Is a requirement of election.

I will cross gulfs of bitterness

To accede to the sun of your pleasure,

And I will attain the highest summits of your slopes

So that the river of all tenderness will flow down

Broadening as it courses its way.

.     .     .

“Dans le Silence des Coeurs”

.

Te voici reine de mon royaume des rêves!

Je me sens, ô femme, perdu en ta profonde nuit

En l’absence de l’étoile du voyageur!

Emporté dans les mouvances de ton âme

Comme dans une mer infinie,

Je me suis noyé dans la lumière de tes desirs:

Ton amour de ses voluptés, m’a transfiguré,

Et j’ai éloigné ma vie des rivages de la solitude.

C’est une douceur dans mon coeur

Nourri du sang des amants!

Les peurs mûrissantes sur les flancs du vent,

Je prie pour que le ciel

Préserve ta vie de toute souffrance,

Et que la force de l’amour sauvegarde ta liberté

Sur toutes les terres où l’honneur

Est une exigence d’election.

Je traverserai les gouffres de l’amertume

Pour accéder au soleil de ta jouissance,

Et j’atteindrai les plus hauts sommets de tes versants

En mesure que s’en ira en s’élargissant

Le fleuve de toutes les tendresses.

.     .     .

“Haunted Houses”

.

Now we have our doubts to cry over.

When identities and years

Become lost in the sands,

Our depressed towns

Smell of roses

Placed on tombstones.

Our houses, haunted

By long periods of solitude

Open up to waves of love,

As abundant as the sea of farewells.

Bitter offerings

People the spheres of our ambitions.

We seek our roots

Like others seek hidden truths.

.     .     .

“Maisons Hantées”

.

Maintenant, nous avons nos doutes pour pleurer.

Quand les identités et les années

Se perdent dans le sable,

Nos villes moroses

Se parfument de roses

Déposées sur les tombes.

Nos maisons hantées

Par de longues solitudes

S’ouvrent aux vagues de l’amour,

Aussi abondantes qu’une mer des adieux.

Les offrandes amères

Peuplent les sphères de nos ambitions.

Nous cherchons nos racines

Comme d’autres des vérités cachées.

.     .     .

Suzanne Tanella Boni (born 1954, Ivory Coast)

Gorée Baobab Island” (four poems)

.

perhaps happiness is so far away

invisible among the tamarind leaves

when my hand brushes the fruit

to share them with spirits laughing at man’s

cruelty to man

.

perhaps the hope in my eyes drags

the future in clouds of dust where I seek

sparks and the dignity of condemned souls

.

when the horizon in the early hours

creates images and silhouettes between sun and sea

you are not here to see my eyes

where you have never seen the humour of the world

.     .     .

with the blessing of the island’s

invisible inhabitants I become alive again

.

as your look is not a poem

but the vast sea that pours infinite pages

at my feet

.     .     .

here too I drank at the source

words covered with mildew

like walls oozing all the sorrows

carved on the doors of time

.

I drank the life source

that gives us memory and the capped path

of days to come

I lost count of the mouthfuls of elixir I drank

so that the poem

that has forever haunted my steps survives

.

tomorrow I will return

to hear you talk to me

again of you and me

.     .     .

here too the sheets where history snoozed

are white and empty

.

the covers of time alone

are green like the last word in the world

when the wind howls

day and night at the gates of chaos

.

then I wrap myself in the words of your look faraway

beyond the sea that separates us infinitely.

ZP_photographie par Finbarr O'Reilly, Reuters_L'île de Gorée est célèbre pour La Maison des Esclaves et La porte du Voyage sans Retour, d'où partaient pour l'ultime voyage les esclaves acheminés vers les plantations d'Amérique.  Gorée Island, just off the coast from Dakar, Senegal, is symbolically famous for the 18th-century House of Slaves with its “portal of sorrow” or “door of no return” which faces the westward Atlantic Ocean where ships with their “human cargo” sailed for the slave-fueled sugar and cotton plantations of The Americas.ZP_photographie par Finbarr O’Reilly, Reuters_L’île de Gorée est célèbre pour La Maison des Esclaves et La porte du Voyage sans Retour, d’où partaient pour l’ultime voyage les esclaves acheminés vers les plantations d’Amérique.  Gorée Island, just off the coast from Dakar, Senegal, is famous for the 18th-century House of Slaves with its “portal of sorrow” or “door of no return” which faces the westward Atlantic Ocean where ships with their “human cargo” sailed for the slave-fueled coffee, cotton and sugar plantations of The Americas.  It is this symbolic “door of no return” which Suzanne Tanella Boni calls the gates of chaos or la porte du chaos (in the French original of her poem).

.

Gorée Île Baobab” (quatre poèmes)

.

peut-être le bonheur est-il si loin

invisible dans les feuilles de tamarinier

quand ma main effleure les fruits

à partager avec les génies riant des cruautés

faites à l’homme par l’homme

.

peut-être l’espérance dans mes yeux traîne-t-elle

l’avenir en nuages de poussières où je cherche

étincelles et dignité des âmes en sursis

.

quand l’horizon au petit matin

dessine images et silhouettes entre soleil et mer

tu n’es pas là pour voir mes yeux

où tu n’a jamais vu l’humeur du monde

.     .     .

avec la bénédiction des habitants

invisibles de l’île ici je revis

car ton regard n’est pas un poème

mais toute la mer qui coule à mes pieds

des pages infinies

.     .     .

ici aussi j’ai bu à la source

des mots couverts de moisissures

comme murs suintant de tous les malheurs

gravés aux portes du temps

.

j’ai bu la source vive

qui nous donne mémoire et chemin majuscule

des jours à venir

j’ai bu je ne sais combien de gorgées élixir

“…pour la survie du poème

qui hante mes pas depuis toujours”

.

demain je reviendrai

entendre ta voix qui me parle

encore de toi et de moi

.     .     .

ici aussi les draps où l’histoire fait la sieste

sont blancs et vides

.

seule la couverture du temps

est verte comme dernière parole du monde

quand le vent tourbillonne

nuit et jour à la porte du chaos

.

alors je m’enroule dans les mots de ton regard horizon

par-delà la mer nous séparant infiniment.

.     .     .     .     .


Jane Kenyon: “Laissons venir le soir” / “Let Evening Come”

ZP_Garçonnet avec une binette_La Zambie_Little boy with hoe_Zambia_photograph copyright BoldtZP_Garçonnet avec une binette_La Zambie_Little boy with hoe_Zambia_photograph © Boldt

.

Jane Kenyon(1947-1995)

Laissons venir le soir”

.

Laissez la lumière de fin de journée
briller à travers les interstices de la grange,

pendant que le soleil descend, bougeant sur les bottes de paille.

Laissez le grillon craqueter
comme une femme prend ses aiguilles
et ses fils. Laissez venir le soir.

Laissez la rosée recueillie sur la houe abandonnée
dans les grandes herbes. Laissez les étoiles apparaître

et la lune divulguer sa corne d’argent.

Laissez le renard revenir à sa tanière de sable.
Laissez le vent s’éteindre. Laissez le hangar
aller vers le noir intérieur . Laissons venir le soir..

Pour la bouteille dans le fossé, à la pelle
dans d’avoine, pour l’air dans les poumons
Laissons venir le soir.

Qu’il vienne, comme il le fera, et n’aies
pas peur. Dieu ne nous laisse pas sans
consolation, laissons venir le soir.

 

.     .     .

 

Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)

Let Evening Come”

.

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving

up the bales as the sun moves down.

.

Let the cricket take up chafing

as a woman takes up her needles

and her yarn. Let evening come.

.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.

.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.

Let the wind die down. Let the shed

go black inside. Let evening come.

.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop

in the oats, to air in the lung

let evening come.

.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t

be afraid. God does not leave us

comfortless, so let evening come.

 

 

.     .     .

Traduction en français: “ReChab”

Voyez également son site poetique “art et tique et pique” – http://ecritscrisdotcom.wordpress.com

.     .     .     .     .


Poemas japoneses – de guerra, del honor, de la ternura – traducidos por Nuna López

 

ZP_Samurai writing a poem on a flowering cherry-tree trunk_print by Ogata Gekko 1859-1920 courtesy of ogatagekkodotnetZP_Samurai writing a poem on a flowering cherry-tree trunk by Ogata Gekko, 1859-1920_ print courtesy of ogatagekkodotnet

.

Ouchi Yoshitaka (a “daimyo” or feudal lord / un “daimyo” o soberano feudal, 1507-1551)

 

.

 

Both the victor and the vanquished are

 

but drops of dew, but bolts of lightning –

 

thus should we view the world.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Tanto el vencedor como el vencido no son

 

Sino gotas de rocío, relámpagos

 

así deberíamos ver el mundo.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Hojo Ujimasa (1538-1590)

 

Hojo was a “daimyo” and “samurai” who, after a shameful defeat, committed “seppuku” or ritual suicide by self-disembowelment. He composed a poem before he killed himself:

 

.

 

Death Poem”

 

.

 

Autumn wind of evening,

 

blow away the clouds that mass

 

over the moon’s pure light

 

and the mists that cloud our mind –

 

do thou sweep away as well.

 

Now we disappear –

 

well, what must we think of it?

 

From the sky we came – now we may go back again.

 

That’s at least one point of view.

 

 

.     .     .

 

Hojo Ujimasa (1538-1590)

 

Poema de muerte”

 

.

 

Viento otoñal de la noche,

 

sopla lejos las nubes que obstruyen

 

la luz pura de la luna

 

y la neblina que nubla nuestra mente-

 

también bárrela lejos.

 

Ahora nosotros desaparecemos –

 

Y bien, ¿qué deberíamos pensar de esto?

 

Del cielo vinimos- ahora debemos regresar otra vez.

 

Ese es al menos un punto de vista.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

The following poem by Akiko Yosano was composed as if to her younger brother who was drafted to fight in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). It was never specifically anti-war only that the poet wished that her brother not sacrifice his life. At the time the poem was not censored but in the militaristic 1930s it was banned in Japan.

 

.

 

Akiko Yosano/ 与謝野晶子(1878-1942)

 

.

 

Oh, my brother, I weep for you.

 

Do not give your life.

 

Last-born among us,

 

You are the most beloved of our parents.

 

Did they make you grasp the sword

 

And teach you to kill?

 

Did they raise you to the age of twenty-four,

 

Telling you to kill and die?

 

.

 

Heir to our family name,

 

You will be master of this store,

 

Old and honoured, in Sakai, and therefore,

 

Brother, do not give your life.

 

For you, what does it matter

 

Whether Lu-Shun Fortress falls or not?

 

The code of merchant houses

 

Says nothing about this.

 

.

 

Brother, do not give your life.

 

His Majesty the Emperor

 

Goes not himself into the battle.

 

Could he, with such deeply noble heart,

 

Think it an honour for men

 

To spill one another’s blood

 

And die like beasts?

 

.

 

Oh, my brother, in that battle

 

Do not give your life.

 

Think of mother, who lost father just last autumn.

 

How much lonelier is her grief at home

 

Since you were drafted.

 

Even as we hear about peace in this great Imperial Reign,

 

Her hair turns whiter by the day.

 

.

 

And do you ever think of your young bride,

 

Who crouches weeping behind the shop curtains

 

In her gentle loveliness?

 

Or have you forgotten her?

 

The two of you were together not ten months before parting.

 

What must she feel in her young girl’s heart?

 

Who else has she to rely on in this world?

 

Brother, do not give your life.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Akiko Yosano/ 与謝野晶子(Poetisa japonesa, 1878-1942)

 

.

 

Oh, hermano mío, lloro por ti.

 

No entregues tu vida.

 

El más pequeño de nosotros,

 

El más amado por nuestros padres.

 

¿Ellos te hicieron empuñar la espada

 

y te enseñaron a matar?

 

¿Ellos te criaron hasta los veinticuatro

 

para matar y morir?

 

.

 

Heredero de nuestro nombre

 

Tú serás el dueño de esta tienda,

 

Vieja y honrada, en Sakai, y por eso,

 

Hermano, no entregues tu vida.

 

¿A ti que puede importarte

 

si la fortaleza Lu- Shun cae o no?

 

En el código de los comerciantes

 

No hay nada sobre esto.

 

.

 

Hermano, no entregues tu vida.

 

Su Majestad el Emperador

 

no pelea su propia batalla.

 

¿Puede él, con su profundamente noble corazón,

 

pensar que es un honor para los hombres

 

derramar la sangre de uno y otro

 

y morir como bestias?

 

Oh, hermano mío, en esa batalla

 

no entregues tu vida.

 

Piensa en mamá, que perdió a papá apenas el otoño pasado.

 

Qué tan solitaria es su pena en casa

 

desde que te enlistaron.

 

Incluso cuando escuchamos sobre paz en este gran Reino Imperial

 

su cabello se torna más blanco cada día.

 

.

 

¿Alguna vez piensas en tu joven novia,

 

que se acuclilla llorando tras las cortinas de la tienda

 

con su gentil afecto?

 

¿O la has olvidado?

 

Ustedes estuvieron juntos no más de diez meses antes de separarse.

 

¿Cómo debe sentirse ella en su joven corazón de niña?

 

¿En quién más puede confiar en este mundo?

 

Hemano, no entregues tu vida.

 

.     .     .

 

 

Kaneko Misuzu (Japanese poetess, 1903-1930)

 

To Love Everything”

 

.

 

I wish I could love them,

 

Anything and everything.

 

.

 

Onions, tomatoes, fish,

 

I wish I could love them all.

 

.

 

Side dishes, and everything.

 

Because Mother made them.

 

.

 

I wish I could love them,

 

Anyone and everyone.

 

.

 

Doctors, and crows,

 

I wish I could love them all.

 

.

 

Everyone in the whole world

 

Because God made them.

 

.     .     .

 

 

Kaneko Misuzu (Poetisa japonesa, 1903-1930)

 

Amar todo”

 

.

 

Desearía poder amarlos,

 

a cualquier cosa y a todo.

 

 

Cebollas, tomates y pescados,

 

desearía poder amarlos todos.

 

 

Guarniciones y todo,

 

porque Mamá los hizo.

 

 

Desearía poder amarlos,

 

a cualquiera y a todos.

 

 

Doctores y cuervos,

 

desearía poder amarlos todos.

 

 

Todos en todo el mundo

 

Porque Dios los hizo.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Kaneko Misuzu

 

Me, the little bird, and the bell”

 

.

 

私が両手をひろげても、(watashi ga ryōte wo hirogete mo)

 

お空はちっとも飛べないが、(osora wa chitto mo tobenai ga)

 

飛べる小鳥は私のように、(toberu kotori ha watashi yō ni)

 

地面を速く走れない。(jimen wo hayaku hashirenai)

 

.

 

私が体をゆすっても、(watashi ga karada wo yusutte mo)

 

きれいな音はでないけど、(kirei na oto wa denai kedo)

 

あの鳴る鈴は私のように、(anonaru suzu wa watashi no yō ni)

 

たくさんな唄は知らないよ。(takusan na uta wa shiranai yo)

 

.

 

鈴と、小鳥と、それから私、(suzu to kotori to sorekara watashi)

 

みんなちがって、みんないい。(minna chigatte, minna ii)

 

.     .     .

 

Even if I stretch out my arms

 

I can’t fly up into the sky,

 

But the little bird who can fly

 

Cannot run fast along the ground like me.

 

.

 

Even if I shake my body,

 

No beautiful sound comes out,

 

But the ringing bell does not

 

Know many songs like me.

 

.

 

The bell, the little bird and, finally, me:

 

We’re all different, but we’re all good.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Kaneko Misuzu

 

El pajarito, la campanilla y yo”

 

.

 

Aunque estire mis brazos

 

No puedo elevarme hacia el cielo

 

Pero el pajarito que puede volar

 

No puede correr rápido sobre la tierra, como yo.

 

.

 

Aunque sacuda mi cuerpo

 

Ningún bello sonido se escuchará

 

Pero la campanilla no conoce

 

Tantas canciones como yo.

 

.

 

La campanilla, el pajarito y finalmente, yo:

 

Todos somos diferentes pero todos igualmente buenos.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Kenzo Ishijima(Japanese Kamikaze pilot, WW2 / Piloto japonés kamikaze, Segunda Guerra Mundial)

 

.

 

Since my body is a shell

 

I am going to take it off

 

and put on a glory that will never wear out.

 

.     .     .

 

Ya que mi cuerpo es una carcasa

 

Voy a quitármela de encima

 

Y a vestirme de gloria que nunca se desgastará.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Doki no Sakura”:  a popular soldiers’ song of the Japanese Imperial Navy during WW2 in which a Kamikaze naval aviator addresses his fellow pilot – parted in death:

 

.

 

Doki no Sakura”(“Cherry blossoms from the same season”)

 

.

 

You and I, blossoms of the same cherry tree

 

That bloomed in the naval academy’s garden.

 

Blossoms know they must blow in the wind someday,

 

Blossoms in the wind, fallen for their country.

 

.

 

You and I, blossoms of the same cherry tree

 

That blossomed in the flight school garden.

 

I wanted us to fall together, just as we had sworn to do.

 

Oh, why did you have to die, and fall before me?

 

.

 

You and I, blossoms of the same cherry tree,

 

Though we fall far away from one another.

 

We will bloom again together in Yasukuni Shrine.

 

Spring will find us again – blossoms of the same cherry tree.

 

.     .     .

 

Doki no Sakura”:  una canción popular entre los soldados japoneses de la Segunda Guerra Mundial:

 

.

 

Flores de cerezo de la misma estación”

 

.

 

Tú y yo, flores de un mismo cerezo

 

que floreció en el jardín de la academia naval.

 

Flores sabedoras de que deben volar en el viento algún día,

 

flores en el viento, caídas por su país.

 

.

 

Tú y yo, flores de un mismo cerezo

 

que floreció en el jardín de la escuela de aviación.

 

Quería que cayéramos juntos, como habíamos jurado hacer.

 

Oh, ¿por qué tenías que morir y caer antes que yo?

 

.

 

Tú y yo, flores de un mismo cerezo,

 

aunque caemos lejos el uno del otro,

 

floreceremos juntos otra vez en el santuario Yasukuni.

 

La primavera nos encontrará otra vez – flores de un mismo cerezo.

 

 

ZP_Cherry Blossom and Crow by Ogata Gekko, 1859 - 1920_print courtesy of ogatagekkodotnetZP_Cherry Blossom and Crow by Ogata Gekko, 1859 – 1920_print courtesy of ogatagekkodotnet

 

.

Sadako Kurihara (Japanese poetess, 1913-2005)

 

When we say ‘Hiroshima’ ”

 

.

 

When we say Hiroshima, do people answer,

 

gently, Ah, Hiroshima? …Say Hiroshima,

 

and hear Pearl Harbor.  Say Hiroshima,

 

and hear Rape of Nanjing.  Say Hiroshima,

 

and hear women and children in Manila, thrown

 

into trenches, doused with gasoline, and

 

burned alive.  Say Hiroshima, and hear

 

echoes of blood and fire.  Ah, Hiroshima,

 

we first must wash the blood off our own hands.

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Sadako Kurihara (Poetisa japonesa, 1913-2005)

 

Cuando decimos ‘Hiroshima’”

 

.

 

Cuando decimos Hiroshima, acaso la gente contesta,

 

gentilmente, Ah Hiroshima?… Di Hiroshima,

 

y escucha Pearl Harbor. Di Hiroshima,

 

y escucha la Violación de Nanjing. Di Hiroshima

 

y escucha a las mujeres y los niños en Manila, arrojados

 

en zanjas, empapados en gasolina y

 

quemados vivos. Di Hiroshima, y escucha

 

ecos de sangre y fuego. Ah, Hiroshima,

 

primero debemos lavarnos la sangre de nuestras propias manos.

 

 

 

 

.     .     .

 

 

Traducciones del inglés al español / Translations from English to Spanish:  Nuna López

.     .     .     .     .

 


Les femmes-poètes africaines “griotent” de la Femme et de l’Enfant / African women poets sing, proclaim, and advise about Women and Children

ZP_Femme de La Gambie_Gambian woman

Les femmes-poètes africaines “griotent” de la Femme et de l’Enfant / African women poets sing, proclaim, and advise about Women and Children

.     .     .

 

Berthe-Evelyne Agbo (born 1949, Benin)

My baby doll”

.

My heart so flooded with joy

Dissolves

At the sight

Of your adorable little face.

.

You’re sleeping, little marvel

In your cloth of green embroidery

Your delicately hemmed eyelashes

Resting on your little round cheeks.

.

From the depth of your sleep

You feel my presence;

You woke up, little kitten

And quickly started the game again.

.

So I watch you wiggling,

Ignoring me in your crib,

Arching your back

And yawning out loud.

.

You talk, you raise your arms

You stretch out in your bed.

That’s it: your head lifted

You look at me astonished.

.

Will you pick me up? your squinting eyes ask

Or, will you watch me a while longer?

Will I have to cry first

Before you understand?

.

And my mother’s heart breaks

At the sight of your falling tears

And I hurry to hold you,

You, so warm and stirring with innocence.

.

That’s it: you’re in my arms, cuddled

You babble and caress my cheek.

With a tender touch I turn you in my arms

I hug you, you talk to me.

.

And my heart is flooded with joy.

.     .     .

Ma poupée”

.

Mon coeur chavire de joie,

Tant il fond

A la vue

De ton minois adorable.

.

Tu dors, petite merveille,

Dans tes draps brodés au fil vert,

Tes cils délicatement ourlés,

Posés sur tes joues rondelettes.

.

Du fond de ton sommeil,

tu as senti ma présence;

Tu t’es éveillée, petite chatte,

Et au jeu aussitôt tu t’es mise.

.

Et je te regarde te trémousser

Dans ton berceau, ignorant mon regard,

Tu fais le dos rond

Et tu bâilles à grand bruit.

.

Tu parles, tu lèves les bras

Tu t’étires dans ton lit.

Ça y est: ta tête s’est dressée

Et tu me regardes, étonnée.

.

Vas-tu me prendre? me disent tes yeux bridés,

Ou vas-tu m’observer encore longtemps?

Me faut-il crier d’abord

Avant que tu ne comprennes?

.

Et mon coeur de mère sanglote

A la vue de tes larmes apparues,

Et je me précipite pour te prendres,

Tant tu es chaude et émouvante de candeur.

.

Ça y est: tu es dans mes bras, blottie,

Et déjà tu babilles et me caresses la joue.

Mes bras, d’une caresse, t’entourent,

Je t’embrasses, tu me parles,

.

Et mon coeur chavire de joie.

.     .     .

Edwige Araba Aplogan (born 1955, Benin)

The Child”

.

Child from above

Child from below

Child of forgotten desire

Child of love and mystery

Round child, mad child

Wolf Child

Tortured Child

The child of a newfound dream

.

Of a tomorrow that is coming

for you

for us

for them

.

A tight embrace

Flame

Desire

.

We will ride across deserts

from one adventure to another

from red earth to blue dunes

from fortresses torn from silence

.

We will take over the shore of clear water

from war steps into dance steps

from songs of love and hope

Of life snatched

From the void of the present.

.     .     .

L’enfant”

.

L’enfant d’en haut

L’enfant d’en bas

L’enfant du désir oublié

L’enfant d’amour et de mystère

L’enfant boule, l’enfant fou

L’enfant loup

L’enfant torture

L’enfant d’un rêve retrouvé

.

D’un demain qui s’annonce

pour vous

pour nous

pour eux

.

Une étreinte

Flamme

Désir

.

Nous chevaucherons les déserts

d’aventures en aventures

des terres rouges aux dunes bleues

des forteresses arrachées au silence

.

Nous prendrons la rive d’eau claire

de pas de guerre en pas de danse

de chants d’amour et d’espérance

De vie arrachée

à la béance du présent.

.     .     .

Aminata Athié (born 1960, Senegal)

A Seller of Women”

.

Have you passed by my stall? The seller of women is a man who

knows how to show off his merchandise. You should see him

do his thing or better still hear him: He puts on a show, almost

like magic, a little bit the con-man but terribly charming…In

fact, his pitch was so persuasive that a mob of people hurried to

gather around him. You would have seen the crowd packed in

there. Even I tried to stop, but I was in a hurry…And besides, I

could not myself be a buyer, since you had to have a good pair of

moustaches. As for the merchandise, I am not a lover of antiques:

the piece is so strange that I would risk losing my Pulaar…

Besides, I don’t even know anymore which side of the market his

stall is on. If you were to ask certain people…

.

Sister Soul

White Goose

My dove

My sweet Grave

.

Call her by every name

sweet names, names

of honey, butter, flour

.

names of things to eat

names of things to caress

names of things to trample

Call her by every name

.

The Woman is good to possess

The Woman, pride of the house

.

You must have a woman

She was an angel, the woman

Paradise is paved with good women

.

A woman-heater for winter

Woman-table for the living room

A woman air-conditioner for summer nights

Woman-seed for rainy seasons

.

Cotton-cloth woman

Lemonade-woman

Pomade-woman for bad skin

.

Call her by every name

.

The dry composed candidate

.

Stubborn-statuette woman

Chatterbox-woman

Leech-plump-woman

Hell-on-wheels woman

.

Slap-woman

Talisman-woman

Stallion-woman

.

Call her by every name

.

The woman, good to display

The woman, jewel of the house

.

They come in all shapes

There is one for every taste

.

Golden woman

Gilded woman

Woman-body

Woman-cowry

.

And even a bad-luck woman

And even fossil-woman

.

The Woman, good to console

The Woman, household rubbish

.

I sell the woman, an object

of premium necessity

.

You must have a woman

She was made from the mire – woman

.

She eats

She drinks

She sleeps

Woman is scared

Madame adorns herself

Woman weeps

.

Woman of length

Woman of breadth

Woman of depth.

ZP_Fabric vendor in Lagos, Nigeria

Marchand de Femmes”

.

Etes-vous déjà passé près de mon étal? Le marchand de femmes

est un homme qui sait vanter sa marchandise. Il faut le voir

à l’oeuvre ou plutôt l’écouter: cela tient du spectacle, un peu

comme la magie, un tantinet charlatan mais terriblement

charmeur…En effet, la réclame était si persuasive que bientôt

un tas de gens se pressaient de son côté. Il fallait voir la foule

agglutinée…Moi-même, j’ai tenté de faire un crochet mais

comme j’étais pressée.

…Et puis, cela ne devrait pas me concerner côté acheteur, il

fallait une bonne paire de moustaches. Quant à la marchandise,

je ne suis pas amatrice d’antiquité:  le produit est si curieux que

je risque d’y perdre mon…pular!  D’ailleurs, je ne sais même

plus de quel côté du marché il tient son étal. Si vous demandiez

à certains…

.

Ame soeur

Oie blanche

Ma colombe

ma douce tombe

.

Appelez-la de tous les noms

de noms doux, de noms

sucrés-miel, beurre, farine

.

des noms de choses à manger

des noms de choses à caresser

des noms de choses à fouler aux pieds

Appelez-la de tous les noms

.

La femme est bonne à posséder

La femme, un orgueil de la maison

.

Il faut avoir une femme

C’était un ange, la femme

Le paradis pavé de bonnes femmes

.

Femme-chauffage pour l’hiver

Femme-console pour ton salon

Femme-climatiseur pour nuits d’été

Femme-semence pour l’hivernage

.

Femme-cotonnade

Femme-limonade

Femme-pommade pour peaux malades

.

Appelez-la de tous les noms

.

La candidate-aride-impavide

.

Femme-statuette-têtue

Femme-à-la-langue-trop-pendue

Femme-sangsue-dodue

Femme-enfer-de-fer

.

Femme-taloche

Femme-talisman

Femme-étalon

.

Appelez-la de tous les noms

.

La femme, bonne à exhiber

La femme, bijou de la maison

.

Il y en a de toutes les formes

Vous en avez pour tous les goûts

.

Femme d’or

Femme dorure

Femme-corps

Femme-cauris

.

Et même la femme-mauvais sort

et même la femme fossile

.

La femme, bonne à consoler

La femme, rebut de la maison

.

Je vends la femme, objet

de première nécessité

.

Il faut avoir une femme

C’était de la fange la femme

.

Elle mange

Elle boit

Elle dort

La femme a peur

Madame se pare

La femme pleure

.

Femme en long

Femme en large

Femme en profondeur.

.     .     .

Monique Ilboudo (born 1959, Burkina Faso)

Closed for Inventory”

.

There is nothing to sell today

No smile

No sweet word

No sour word

No sweet and sour word

I am closed

Closed for inventory

.

I am not buying anything today

No crazy laugh

No sweet talk

No sour talk

No sweet and sour talk

I am closed

Closed for inventory

.

The entire store will be inspected today

The empty shelves

The full shelves

The half-full shelves

Everything will be dusted

Everything will be checked

Everything will be rechecked

Everything will be counted

.

Everything will be weighed on a scale

Nothing will be ignored

On the left tray the assets

On the right tray the liabilities

.

Tomorrow if everything isn’t up for grabs

If some energy is left for selling

If she finds her wholeness again

The store will be open again – maybe.

But today there is nothing for sale

Nothing to buy, nothing to grab.

I am closed,

Closed for inventory.

ZP_South African woman_photograph copyright Steve EvansFermée pour inventaire”

.

Il n’y a rien à vendre aujourd’hui

Ni sourire

Ni mot doux

Ni mot aigre

Ni mot aigre-doux

Je suis fermée

Fermée pour inventaire

.

Je n’achète rien aujourd’hui

Ni fou rire

Ni échange de propos doux

Ni échange de propos aigres

Ni échange de propos aigre-doux

Je suis fermée

Fermée pour inventaire

.

Toute la boutique sera visitée aujourd’hui

Les rayons vides

Les rayons pleins

Les rayons à moitié vides

Les rayons à moitié pleins

Tout sera épousseté

Tout sera vu

Tout sera revu

Tout sera compté

Sur une balance tout sera pesé

Rien ne sera lésé

Sur le plateau gauche l’actif

Sur le plateau droit le passif

.

Demain si tout n’est pas à prendre

S’il reste de l’énergie à vendre

Si elle retrouve son bien-être

La boutique rouvrira peut-être

Mais aujourd’hui il n’y a rien à vendre

Rien à acheter rien à prendre

Je suis fermée

Fermée pour inventaire.

.     .     .

Irène Assiba d’Almeida (born 1945, Senegal)

Waves of Pleasure”

.

You will never know

The profound joy

Of a woman

Satisfied

In the innermost depth of her body

After the tender touch

Of her lover

.

Dizzy in ecstasy

Her waist beads

Become song

Swaying with desire

Her whole body

Shivering

Rising over undreamed mountains

Arched with pleasure

She is soon

A sea becalmed

Still drifting

Her “little death” still sumptuously alive

After, long after sleep

After, long after awakeniing

.

You will never know

The profound joy

Of a woman

Satisfied

In the innermost depth of her body

After the tender touch

Of her lover.

.     .     .

Vagues de plaisir”

.

Tu ne sauras jamais

La joie profonde

De la femme

Satisfaite

Au tréfonds de son corps

Après la tendre caresse

De l’amant

.

Dans le vertige de l’extase

Ser perles aux reins

Deviennent chanson

Ondoyante de désir

Tout son corps

Devient frisson

Hissée sur des sommets insoupçonnés

Arc-boutée de plaisir

Elle est bientôt

Mer étale

Et même dans l’abandon

Sa ‘petite mort’ reste somptueusement vivante

Après, bien après le sommeil

Après, bien après le réveil

.

Tu ne sauras jamais

La joie profonde

De la femme

Satisfaite

Au tréfonds de son corps

Après la tendre caresse

De l’amant.

.     .     .

Marie Claire Dati (born 1955, Cameroon)

Jubilation”

.

The Good Lord made me a woman

A silken feather soothing life

Spicy islands drunken escape

A tangerine woman, a fruit-juice woman

Woman a tear, woman a pout

And a savannah and a spring and a bamboo and colours

That fall silent in a single hymn

While a hundred moving fires a thousand lights

Bathe the choruses of the miracle world

.

Woman! Nothing. But Woman, the Good Lord made me

Everything

Firefly of the volcanoes infernal rosebush

Melody in the night of the wanderer

Avowing angelic serenades woman

Fireworks woman

Woman doe of a virile prestige

Woman hope of children

Woman arranger of time

And a savannah and a spring and a bamboo and colours

That melt into the peacful sky of my soul

Tasting of the voluptuous spasms

That my heart, O Grace, speechless with plenitude

Adores in the secret of endless joy.

.     .     .

Jubilation”

.

Le Bon Dieu m’a faite femme

Plume de soie berce vie

Piquantes îles évasion ivresse

Femme mandarine, femme jus de fruits

Femme une larme femme une moue

Et savane et printemps et bambou et couleurs

Se taisent en un hymne unique

Quand cent feux fluides mille lumières

Baignent le monde à miracle les choeurs.

.

Femme! Rien. Mais Femme, le Bon Dieu m’a faite

Tout

Luciole des volcans rosier infernal

Mélodie dans la nuit du promeneur

Femme aveux des sérénades d’anges

Femme feu d’artifice

Femme biche du prestige viril

Femme espérance des enfants

Femme ordre du temps

Et savane et printemps et bambou et couleurs

Se scellent en un ciel de paix dans mon âme

Goûtant aux spasmes voluptueux

Que mon coeur, ô grâce, muet de plénitude

Dans le secret des joies sans borne, adore.

.     .     .

Madeleine de Lallé (born 1955, Burkina Faso)

Man”

.

When I came of age

And tradition dictated I should marry

My father took me aside one evening

And confided this to me:

“When you can listen to a man

Insult you without saying a word

And without being upset

Then come and tell me you are getting married:

Man is a feeble being

Who cannot admit he is so.

When he becomes angry

His ears withdraw

From the mouth that reasons with him.

Let him say what he wants to say,

And caress him where you can.

When he calms down and

Comes back to your arms

Embrace him as if he is your prize,

Soothe him as best you can

– He recognizes the mother in you.

And that makes him feel like a man.”

.     .     .

L’homme”

.

Quand j’eus l’âge de raison,

Et que la coutume voulut que je me marie,

Mon père me retint un soir

Et me confia ceci:

“Quand tu pourras écouter un homme

T’insulter sans mot dire,

Et sans t’émouvoir,

Viens alors me dire que tu te maries:

L’homme est un être faible

Qui n’admet pas qu’on le lui montre.

Quand il se met en colère,

Ses oreilles s’éloignent

De la bouche qui le raisonne.

Laisse-le dire ce qu’il veut,

Et caresse-le où tu peux.

Quand il se calmera et

Qu’il reviendra dans tes bras,

Serre-le comme ton bien,

Berce-le comme il faut.

Il reconnaît alors en toi la mère.

Et c’est ainsi qu’il se sent homme.”

.     .     .

Ndèye Coumba Mbengue Diakhaté (1924-2001, Senegal)

Seasons of Life”

.

That morning she stepped out as if she were flying

Her boubou* of muslin was spread out like wings!

Her feet barely touched the ground:

Because, finally, that morning she was to be married.

.

At noontime, she was walking steadily, quickly ahead

Her boubou of cotton was clinging with sweat

The children, the housework and her husband waited

For a mother, a wife, what turmoil in a house!

.

In the evening she set off, heavy on her feet

Her faded boubou made her look even more stooped.

The worry, the torture, and the years had passed;

Then the grown children had left her.

.

In the night she kept watch near the dying fire

Like her husband, the old man, had done one evening.

Alone in the world! In the night telling her beads

And the hours that follow each other foretelling the end.

.

*boubou – a large dress resembling a tunic or caftan

ZP_African Dad and his toddler

Saisons de la vie”

.

Elle allait ce matin, on eût dit qu’elle volait;

Son boubou de mousseline lui faisait comme des ailes!

Ses pieds si légers effleuraient le sentier:

Car enfin ce matin elle allait se marier.

.

Elle marchait ce midi d’un pas ferme et pressé;

Son boubou de coton, de sueur lui collait;

Les enfants, le ménage, et son homme qui attend:

Pour une mère, une épouse, quel tracas qu’une maison!

.

Elle partait dans le soir, en pesant sur ses pas;

Son boubou délavé la faisait plus voûtée:

Les soucis, les tortures, et les ans ont passé;

Les enfants à leur tour, une fois grands, l’ont quittée.

.

Elle veillait dans la nuit, près du feu qui se meurt,

Comme un soir l’avait fait son vieil homme de mari.

Seule au monde! Dans le noir, égrenant son chapelet,

Et les heures qui se suivent, annonçant la dernière.

.     .     .

Griot of My Race”

.

I am the griot of my race

Poet, troubadour

I loudly sing of my race, my blood

That proclaims who I am

.

I am…ebony wood

Not consumed by the slow fire of lies

I am…the red laterite of the fierce blood of my ancestors.

I am…the virgin wilderness

The kingdom of howling monkeys

.

Not the Negre from troubled neighbourhoods

Relegated to fetid mire, the clinging soot

There, in the grey city, that crushes, that kills.

.

I am…the one you ignore

The sunlight without illusion, not the hypocritical neon.

I am…the calm moonlight, complicit in nocturnal love games

I am the blood that gallops, rearing with impatience

In the maze of my arteries

I am the one you ignore

I spit on your vile spirit.

.

And watch how I break the chains

And the lie of silence

That you hurled at me.

.     .     .

Griot de ma race”

.

Je suis le griot de ma race:

Poète, troubadour;

Je chante très haut ma race, mon sang,

Qui clame qui je suis.

.

Je suis…bois d’ébène,

Que ne consume le feu lent du mensonge.

Je suis…la latérite rouge du sang farouche de mes ancêtres.

Je suis…la brousse inviolée,

Royaume des singes hurleurs

.

Pas le Nègre des bas quartiers,

Relégué dans la fange fétide, la suie qui colle;

Là-bas, dans la ville grise, qui accable, qui tue.

.

Je suis…qui tu ignores:

Soleil sans leurre; pas le néon hypocrite.

Je suis…le clair de lune serein, complice des ébats nocturnes

Je suis le sang qui galope, se cabre d’impatience

Dans le dédale de mes artères.

Je suis qui tu ignores.

Je crache sur l’esprit immonde.

.

Et voici que je romps les chaînes,

Et le silence menteur

Que tu jetas sur moi.

.     .     .

Cécile-Ivelyse Diamonéka (born 1940, Congo)

For Karim”

.

I saw him

Forgotten by everyone

Including me

I saw him

On the highway

Hoping to be crushed into it

And melt into nothingness

Everyone

Cried as one:

He is lost! He is done!

Good for prison

For life in prison

And the rest of us, well-off

By the tens and hundreds,

We had seen in him the essential evil

Delinquent

Habitual criminal

Murderer

And no-one said

A little love

A little sunshing

A little chance for happiness

Like all the children on Earth.

We fled from him as from the fatal plague

Of Oran…

Still, by the light of the moon,

We cried out together

We love children!

Long live The Year of the Child!

ZP_Two Nigerian children_photograph copyright G.K. Sholanke

A Karim”

.

Je l’ai vu

Moi aussi

Oublié de tous

Je l’ai vu

Sur le macadam

Comptant s’y faire broyer

Et s’y fondre dans le néant

Tout le monde

D’un seul cri:

Il est perdu! Il est fini!

Bon pour la prison

La prison à vie

Et nous tous, bien portants

A dix, à cent

Nous avons vu en lui le mal en être

Déliquant

Récidiviste

Assassin

Et personne n’a dit:

Un peu d’amour

Un peu de soleil

Une chance de bonheur

Comme tous les enfants de la Terre

Nous l’avons fui en peste mortelle

D’Oran

Pourtant, au clair de lune

Nous avons crié en choeur:

Nous aimons les enfants!

Vive l’Année de l’Enfant!

.     .     .

Colette Houéto (born 1939, Benin)

Women, Tell Us”

(For women of all races)

.

Unspeakable silence

Imcomprehensible speech

From all these women

Meeting one day at the conference

Of our commonality.

.

Women, tell us

You who know

The water, the air and the wind

The naked hearts

For you who desire

The flame of a candle.

Why space and repose

Don’t have the same feeling

In the pathways of your bodies.

Tell us, you who give

The beginning and the longing

The pleasure and the essence

Why from our freedoms

The night is born

.

And here it is that the silence alienated for so long

Seizes speech in the name of a manifesto

Of all women

Rising

.

Why why do you demand

Artificial paradises, men!

Well then, listen

One last time

Like the wretched

Of the earth

Our hearts are filled with your treason

Exasperated by your beautiful vileness

By your fugitive “I love yous”

Tired of the clever architecture

Of your piecemeal speeches.

We are coming now at dawn

To propose a new pact.

.

Let us be the artisans of Renaissance

Of newborn Common Knowledge

And of Recognition

Today as one

Let us cheer with our watery eyes

The fragrant dance of

Our cactus flowers

Let us go

Let us find again the familiar ways

Of our streets

Of our fields

Of our factory pavements

Let us intertwine our hands our thoughts

Our doubts our intuitions

And our affirmed desires.

Then on the wet grasses

Beneath the blossoming

Cailcidrat trees of our valleys

Let us reclaim time

And re-create the history

Of our future works

With the living milk of the seed

And the patience of the roots of light.

.     .     .

Dites-nous, femmes”

(A toutes les races de femmes)

.

Silence inexprimable,

Parole indéchiffrable

De toutes ces femmes

Un jour rencontrées au confluent

Du partage.

.

Dites-nous femmes

Qui savez

L’eau, l’air et le vent

Les coeurs mis à nu

Pour vous qui voulez

La flamme d’une chandelle

Pourquoi l’espace et le repos

N’ont pas le même goût

Sur les sentiers de votre corps

Dites-nous vous qui donnez

L’origine et la faim

Le plaisir et l’essence

Pourquoi nos libertés

Enfantent la nuit.

.

Et voici que le silence longtemps aliéné

Prend la parole au nom du manifeste

De toutes les femmes

Debout

.

Pourquoi pourquoi demandez-vous

Hommes des paradis artificiels

Et bien écoutez donc

Une dernière fois

Semblables aux parias

De la terre

Nos coeurs gorgés de vos trahisons

Exaspérés du bel immonde

De vos “je t’aime” fugitifs

Las des architectures sournoises

De vos discours en miettes

Viennent au point du jour maintenant

Proposer un nouveau pacte.

.

Soyons les artisans de Renaissance

De Co-naissance

Et de Reconnaissance

Ensemble aujourd’hui

Saluons d’un même regard mouillé

La danse parfumée des fleurs

De nos cactus

Partons

Retrouvons les parcours familiers

De nos rues

De nos champs

De nos trottoirs d’usines

Echangeons nos mains nos pensées

Nos doutes nos intuitions

Et nos désirs assumés

Puis sur les herbes humides

Sous les frondaisons épanouies

Des Caïlcédrats de nos vallées

Apprivoisons le temps

Et recréons l’histoire

De nos oeuvres d’avenir

Avec la sève vive de la graine

Et la patience des racines de lumière.

.     .     .

Werewere Liking (born 1950, Cameroon)

Lend me your Body”

.

He said to her:

Lend me your body, mother of life,

Let it be a covering, a shield

Against the coldness of my solitude,

Against my fragility, my timidity,

Against the fear that slows my action.

.

Lend me your body, woman of my life,

Your body like a pedestal, like a costume,

And I will perform my acts of life –

Like my seed in the space of your loins

– my acts for you – like a beautiful dance.

.

Lend me your body with your heart that inflames me,

Your heart that implicates me, that calls to my soul

Do not deny it – I can no longer sleep with your cries of silence.

Lend me your body that walks as if dancing,

Say Yes – and let life become a rhythm to us.

.     .     .

Prête-moi ton corps”

.

Il lui avait dit:

Prête-moi ton corps, mère de la vie

Comme une couverture, un bouclier

Contre le froid de ma solitude

Contre ma fragilité, ma timidité

Contre la peur qui me freine l’activité.

.

Prête-moi ton corps, femme de ma vie

Ton corps comme un socle, un habit

Et je poserai mes actes dans la vie

Comme au creux de tes reins ma semence

Mes actes pour toi, comme une belle danse.

.

Prête-moi ton corps avec ton coeur qui m’enflamme

Ton coeur qui m’implique, qui en appelle à mon âme

Ne le nie pas, je ne dors plus des cris de ton silence

Prête-moi ton corps qui marche comme on danse

Dis-moi Oui, et que la vie nous devienne une cadence.

.     .     .

Fatou Sonko (Senegal)

My favourite Toy”

.

My doll of yesterday is now real

She is as alive as I am

Pretty baby breathing health

Your tranquility disquiets me

Your tears sadden me

Your laughter relieves me

My favourite toy

Your joy engrosses me

I love when your feet row through the joyful air

The moving of your small rose hands turns your bath

Ecstatic

Your miniscule nose represents your innocence

Your are all gentleness when you sleep with your fists closed

Your whole body is life in miniature.

ZP_African mother with her toddler

Mon jouet préféré”

.

Ma poupée d’hier est devenue réelle

Elle est aussi vivante que moi

Joli bébé respirant la santé

Ta tranquillité m’inquiète

Tes pleurs m’attristent

Tes rires me soulagent

Mon jouet préféré

Ta joie me préoccupe

J’aime quand tes pieds rament l’air rempli d’allégresse

Le mouvement de tes petites mains roses rend ton bain

Euphorique

Ton nez minuscule symbolise ton innocence

Tu es tout doux quand tu dors les poings fermés

Ton corps tout entier est la vie en miniature.

.     .     .

Fatou Ndiaye Sow (1956-2004, Senegal)

Lullaby”

.

Ey Sama Neene Tutti! *

If you dry your tears

I will sing you a song

Of the wonders of the Universe

Ey Sama Neene

If you dry your tears

I will carry you in a pagne

Woven out of sun rays

Ey Sama Neene

If you dry your tears

I will give you a bouquet of stars

To find again your smile at dawn

Ey Sama Neene!

Aayoo Beyo Beyo

Aayoo…

.

* “Hush, my little baby!”

.     .     .

Berceuse”

.

Eye Sama Néné Touty!

Si tu sèches tes larmes

Je te ferai un berceau

Des merveilles de l’Univers

Eye Sama Néné

Si tu sèches tes larmes

Je te porterai dans un pagne

Tissé de rayons de soleil

Eye Sama Néné

Si tu sèches tes larmes

Je t’offrirai un bouquet d’étoiles

Pour retrouver ton sourire aurore

Eye Sama Néné!

Ayo Béyo Béyo

Ayo…

.     .     .

Orthense Tiendrébéogo (Guinea)

I would like to be a Griot”

.

I would like to be a griot,

To make words dance,

Modulate them on my tongue,

And make them slip across my lips;

Recapture them in the air,

To melt them again, explode them,

Polish them, caress them and make them soar.

.

I would like to be a griot, and with a loud voice

Smash the silence of the night,

Hammer on the sleeping conscience,

Shake off the obscuring veils,

Open a fissure

That would let the light escape

And keep the eyes awake.

.

I do not want to be the griot

Of the King, the Strong, the Rich,

Nor of any Power…

.

I would like to be a griot,

To be involved

Only in what fashions a human being.

.     .     .

Je voudrais étre griot”

.

Je voudrais être griot,

Pour faire danser les mots,

Les moduler sur ma langue,

Et les faire glisser sur me lèvres;

Les reprendre dans l’air,

Pour les refondre, les éclater,

Les polir, les caresser et les faire voler.

.

Je voudrais être griot, et d’une voix forte

Rompre le silence de la nuit,

Marteler les consciences endormies,

Secouer les voiles obscurcissants,

Créer une fissure

Qui laisse passer la lumière,

Et maintenir les yeux éveillés.

.

Je ne voudrais être griot

Ni du Roi, ni du Fort, ni du Riche,

D’aucune Puissance…

.

Je voudrais être griot,

Pour ne m’intéresser

Qu’à ce qui construit l’homme.

.     .     .     .     .

Photographs:

Femme de la Gambie_Gambian woman

Fabric vendor_Lagos, Nigeria

South African woman_photograph © Steve Evans

Father with his toddler

Two Nigerian children_photograph © G. K. Sholanke

Mother with her toddler

.     .     .     .     .

Traductions en anglais / Translations from French into English – droit d’auteur © Professeure Janis A. Mayes.  Tous les poèmes – droit de chaque auteur © the respective poetesses

.     .     .     .     .

 


“Los Tres Arbolitos” de Clovis S. Palmer y “Árboles” de Joyce Kilmer

ZP_Árboles en Toronto A_Julio de 2013

Clovis S. Palmer

Los Tres Arbolitos”

.

Es redondo el mundo que nadie no ve,

y hay árboles de todas necesidades.

Algunos puedan ser grandes – otros, pequeños

– o, quizás, como muñequitos.

Puedan variar los árboles, tamaño por tamaño,

Están vistos por todas partes – y entre diques también.

Y nadie sabe de donde vienen.

.

Recordó mi mente unos tres arbolitos

– sobre una colina – a las tres y cuarto

, sobre una colina y junto al molino

– tres arbolitos con miembros oleandos.

Estaban allá – cansados, hambrientos

– y esperaban por un jarrito de cerveza.

Sin embargo, se quedaron dormidos,

con sus manos colgantes

– directo allí.

.     .     .

Señor Palmer hoy es médico y escribió este poema cuando era niño de trece años (en 1987).  En ese tiempo vivía en su pueblito natal de Manchioneal, Distrito de Portland, Jamaïca.  Muestra el poema el “surrealismo natural” de la mente de la niñez.
.     .     .

Clovis S. Palmer

Three Little Trees”

.

The world is round, which no one sees,

Having trees of all different needs.

Some may be big, some may be small – or even like a little doll.

Trees may vary from size to size,

Trees are seen from miles to miles.

Trees are seen from dam to dam and no one knows where they came from.

.

My mind went back on three little trees

Upon a hill – a quarter past three –

Upon the hill beside a mill, three little trees waving their limbs,

Hungry and tired the trees were there,

Waiting for a cup of beer.

Nevertheless, they fell asleep,

Having their hands hanging right there.

.     .     .    

This poem was composed in 1987, in Manchioneal, Portland Parish, Jamaica, when Dr. Palmer was 13 years old.  It displays the qualities of “natural surrealism” that only a child’s mind can create, whereas adults must strive greatly to see the world in such a way.

ZP_Árboles en Toronto B_Julio de 2013

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

Árboles”

.

Creo que nunca veré

un poema tan hermoso como un árbol.

Un árbol cuya boca hambrienta esté pegada

al dulce seno fluyente de la tierra;

un árbol que mira a Dios todo el día.

Y alza sus brazos frondosos para rezar.

.

Un árbol que en verano podría llevar

un nido de petirrojos en sus cabellos;

en cuyo pecho se ha recostado la nieve;

quien vive íntimamente con la lluvia.

.

Los poemas están hechos por bufones como nosotros,

Pero solo Dios puede hacer un árbol.

.     .     .

Escrito en 1913, el poema “Árboles” es verso bien amado entre los hablantes del inglés americano y canadiense.  Claro, es muy sentimental – faltando los sellos distintos del modernismo – pero dura su estima popular porque las palabras son sinceras – de lo más hondo del corazón.
.     .     .
 

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

Trees”

.

I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

.     .     .

Written in 1913, when Kilmer was 26 years old, “Trees” would become his most famous poem – sentimental, yes, a breeze to memorize, true, and popular among several generations of Americans and Canadians for its sincere tone, its plain heartfelt-ness (and with God mixed into the verse).   Joyce Kilmer’s life was brief.   He worked for Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary updating definitions of ordinary English-language words at a nickel a pop.  When he had the chance to enlist during The Great War he was over to France in a jiffy, where he died from a German sniper’s bullet and was remembered by the men of his regiment for his valour and leadership abilities as sergeant.

.     .     .

Versiones/interpretaciones en español:   Alexander Best

.     .     .     .     .


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