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Fire in the Blood September 16, 2013

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Alex Sawit

September 16, 2013


I wish to thank all the folks who have been expressing their heartfelt appreciation of my translation of Pablo Neruda’s sonnet.

“Beautiful!” was the immediate e-mail response of Trinazhina, who is one of the most passionate Neruda fans among our Cyrano friends. “Thanks Alex!”

Discussing the matter also made me realize the beautiful differences between reciting the poem in Spanish and in English. Recited in English, the poem naturally plays to a liquid smooth pace that invokes rapturous feelings of mystery and exquisiteness. But spoken with feeling in Spanish, with its more insistent intonations and more pounding rhythm, the poem imbues you with unbridled intent, going faster and faster and not wanting to stop.

Woman, apple, moon…here it is in the original Spanish.

Ay, ay, ay




Soneto XII

Pablo Neruda, Cien Sonetos de Amor (1959)


Plena mujer, manzana carnal, luna caliente,
espeso aroma de algas, lodo y luz machacados,
qué oscura claridad se abre entre tus columnas?
Qué antigua noche el hombre toca con sus sentidos?

Ay, amar es un viaje con agua y con estrellas,

con aire ahogado y bruscas tempestades de harina:
amar es un combate de relámpagos
y dos cuerpos por una sola miel derrotados.

Beso a beso recorro tu pequeño infinito,
tus márgenes, tus ríos, tus pueblos diminutos,

y el fuego genital transformado en delicia

corre por los delgados caminos de la sangre

hasta precipitarse como un clavel nocturno,
hasta ser y no ser sino un rayo en la sombra.







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