Thursday, August 18, 2005

Der Nachbar

Fremde Geige, gehst du mir nach?
In wieviel Städten schon sprach
deine einsame Nacht zu meiner?
Spielen dich hunderte? Spielt dich einer?

Giebt es in allen großen Städten
solche, die sich ohne dich
schon in den den Flüssen verloren hätten?
Und warum trifft es immer mich?

Warum bin ich immer der Nachbar derer,
die ich bange zwingend zu singen
und zu sagen: Das Leben ist schwerer
als die Schwere von allen Dingen.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1902/03, Paris

The Neighbour

Stray violin, are you following me?
In how many cities has your lonely night
Already spoken to mine?
Have hundreds played you? Does anyone play you?

Are there really those in every city
Who would have gone missing

If it weren't for you?
And why do I always end up here,

Sharing a room with someone
I pity; someone who is forced to sing
And to say : Life is harder
than the hardness in all things?

My translation

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Before The Spit Dries

Sammy, tesoro, go to the shop for mama
and buy a loafaslicebread, come on
take two dollars from my purse, there
on a cupboard next to your father, in nomine padre
filio e spirito santo
. Okay? Look at me Sammy
Sammy? No forget, tesoro, also two packetaciga...
No, make two cartonacigarette. Marlboro. No forget.
And come back quick, eh? And no buy sweets.
Make you sick. Come back quick, Sammy. You hear?
Back (TOOGH!) before the spit dries.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Black Land

Rest from your trip. Beneath the golden eye
the kingdom stretches forth forever. On the plain
of calm and solitude the wind drifts off to sleep.

Upriver, between desert walls,
the god's ship draws near. A thousand banners
flutter on the masts, ablaze with sun.
Rower priests sing ancient anthems
to the lord of death, as they pierce
the mud, the swollen waves.

This light, the peace of this long day,
are yours, traveler, if the vast earth
of eternal wheat cries out to you by your own name.

Salvador Espriu, English translation - Magda Bogin 1989

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