Monday, May 28, 2007

'Tu Risa'

I missed Poetry Month, but here's a late offering, by Pablo Neruda, followed by my translation:

Quítame el pan, si quieres,
quítame el aire, pero
no me quites tu risa.

No me quites la rosa,
la lanza que desgranas,
el agua que de pronto
estalla en tu alegría,
la repentina ola
de plata que te nace.

Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo
con los ojos cansados
a veces de haber visto
la tierra que no cambia,
pero al entrar tu risa
sube al cielo buscándome
y abre para mi todas
las puertas de la vida.

Amor mío, en la hora
más oscura desgrana
tu risa, y si de pronto
ves que mi sangre mancha
las piedras de la calle,
ríe, porque tu risa
será para mis manos
como una espada fresca.

Junto al mar en otoño,
tu risa debe alzar
su cascada de espuma,
y en primavera, amor,
quiero tu risa como
la flor que yo esperaba,
la flor azul, la rosa
de mi patria sonora.

Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna,
ríete de las calles
torcidas de la isla,
ríete de este torpe
muchacho que te quiere,
pero cuando yo abro
los ojos y los cierro,
cuando mis pasos van,
cuando vuelven mis pasos,
niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera
pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.

***

Your Laughter

Take bread from me, if you want,
take the air from me, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take from me the rose,
the lanceflower that you pick,
the water that suddenly
breaks forth in your joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is hard and I return
with tired eyes
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but on entering, your laughter
climbs to the sky looking for me
and opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
unfolds, and if suddenly
you see that my blood is staining
the stones in the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in autumn,
your laughter must raise
its cascade of foam,
and in spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing land.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring
but never your laughter,
because I would die.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Denise said...

That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Ruth Rachel Vendsel said...

Paul I had no idea you could translate Spanish! Beautiful job, I just adore Neruda ..he is so passionate. I especially enjoyed this after watching Il Postino recently, thanks. :)

4:26 AM  

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