Viniste a posarte sobre una hoja de mi cuerpo... / Emilio Adolfo Westphalen

You came to lean on a leaf from my body...

You came to lean on a leaf from my body
Sweet and heavy drop like the sun over our lives
You brought the scent of wood and the tenderness of a leaning
And high sea sail gathering in your glance
You brought the light step of dawn when it leaves
And scanned incense of tremulous groves in your hands
Step off a breeze in a breeze like a wave ascends the days
And in the end you were the abiding spring rolling the
Or the beaches heading to a pointless dispute
To say if your hand was harmonious in time
Or if your heart was fruit of the tree or of tenderness
Or the muffled roar of the pump
Or the quiet voice of happiness denying and affirming itself
In each diastole and systole of permanence and negation
You came to lean on my cup
Red star and complete trill
You came to lean like night calls the creatures
Or like the arm closes its circle and encompasses the entire
Or like the tempest removes the veils from its face
To look at the world and not mistake its oars
When the walls are raised and caves closed
You have come and I can’t reach what justice you mistake
So you can be without the levity of escape and planetary
Edged by honeysuckle in the infantile astrology
So you can be like the rose sunk in the seas
Or the boat anchored in our consciousness
So you can be without stopping the minutes climbing the
And always falling before ringing the bell that summons death
So you can be besieged amid the sound of the harp and the
     skirmish river
Amid aura serpent and rosemary of the ages
Amid solstice tongue and caressing lips of delayed slowness
You have come like death shall come to our lips
With the joyous transparency of the days without lantern
Of the concerts of autumn leaves and summer birds
With the contentment of saying I have arrived
Seen in springtime when it puts its first hands on things
And ties the mane of the cities
And gives free passage to the waters and free song to the
Of the girl when she awakens and of the countryside when it
     gathers itself
You have come heavy like the dew on the flowers in the jar
You have come to erase your arrival
Banner of centuries nailed into our chest
You have come marble nose
You have come diamond eyes
You have come golden lips

Abolición de la muerte (1935)

{ Emilio Adolfo Westphalen | Peru, 1911-2001 }


knott said...

great! thanks for translating it


when is your anthol of these coming out?

knott said...

Device for Survival
Poems by Emilio Adolfo Westphalen; etchings by Fernando de Szyszlo on Alcantara paper. Case binding in paste paper over boards with an etching mounted on the cover. Enclosure made of handmade paper. 10 1/2” x 7 1/4”. Edition of 45. 1992. $1,500.

wish i had fifteen hundred to buy it!


Guillermo Parra said...

Hi Bill,

Thanks for reading these.

I really don't know when any of my translations will appear in print. I've had two small presses (one in NYC and one in LA) tell me they were interested in publishing my English versions of Juan Sánchez Peláez... but they never followed through and really didn't bother returning my e-mails about Sánchez Peláez. So, fuck them.

The books will come out, I just don't know when, at least four volumes, so far: 2 by Sánchez Peláez, a selection of José Antonio Ramos Sucre and an anthology of Venezuelan poetry.

For now, I'm publishing them in fragments here on the blog. More to come, especially from Ramos Sucre. DIY.

knott said...

i enjoy reading them on the blog but would love to have a book in my hand .. .

without no upfront cost you could do a privately published p-o-d paperback, and paypal it from here—

i'd buy it (and maybe others would as well)

Guillermo Parra said...

Thanks. Working on it. There does exist a good possibility of a Ramos Sucre chapbook sometime this year...