Alexander Best: Earth Day poems / “Poema al Agua” para El Día de La TierraPosted: April 22, 2015
Lost and pounding
– Heed me!
. . .
My love and I go down to the well
With buckets at our waists,
and dip the vessels in, refresh ourselves,
Then give we chase…
The sparkling drench is ours,
Extravagance of simple choice.
We swallow all, we surge and runneth over
By such device.
And liquid Time a-rushing flows,
And tolls the bell for me,
And us – where did our children go?
Could we abandoned be?
My love and I went down to the well
And turned our buckets over;
And sat upon them;
Sighed and waited
– waited, sighed –
. . .
Poema al Agua
Mi amada y yo, vamos al pozo
Con cántaros a la cintura,
Los metemos al agua, nos refrescamos y
El líquido brillante que nos empapa es nuestro,
una extravagancia fácil de escoger;
nos la tomamos, resurgimos y
nos dejamos atropellar por tal método.
Y el Tiempo líquido corre y nos toca la campana
¿Y vosotros— adónde fueron vuestros hijos?
¿Hemos sido abandonados tal vez?
Mi amada y yo fuimos al pozo,
Pusimos nuestros cántaros boca abajo
y nos sentamos en ellos;
Suspiramos y esperamos – esperamos, suspiramos
Traducción al español: Lidia García Garay
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ZP Editor’s note:
I wrote the two poems above at the request of Kate Castelo, a friend who lives in Vancouver. She was involved in a climate-change awareness initiative in British Columbia in the autumn of 2010, and “engaged” poetry reflecting on global development, pollution, and natural resource use/abuse, was sought by the organizers. The Kyoto Protocol was much in the news five years ago, and every issue is still current and of great concern. My second poem (“Water Sonnet”) I composed in a lovely traditional metre which contrasts all the more with the poem’s theme: Canada’s longstanding cultural tradition of taking Water for granted. My translation mentor, Lidia García Garay, kindly created a Spanish version of the poem…
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty extending the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that A. Global Warming does exist, and that B. Man-made CO2 Emissions have caused it.
The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December of 1997, and entered into force in February of 2005. There are currently 192 Parties (Canada withdrew, effective December 2012) to the Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to “a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (Article 2). It is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Negotiations were held in Lima in 2014 to agree on a post-Kyoto legal framework that would obligate all major polluters to pay for CO2 emissions. China, India, and the United States have all signaled that they will not ratify any treaty that will commit them legally to reduce CO2 emissions.
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Other Earth Day features at Zócalo Poets:
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