Extraído de revista Yugen, número 6, Nueva York, 1960. Traducción de Juan Arabia para Buenos Aires Poetry, 2018.

Rimbaud

Arthur!
On t’ appela pas Jean!
Nacido en 1854 maldiciendo en Charle-
ville preparando así el camino para
el abominable impulso asesino
de las Ardenas—
¡No es extraño que tu padre se haya ido!
Entonces ingresaste a la escuela a los 8
—¡Pequeño competente Latinista!
En Octubre de 1869
Está escribiendo poesía
en Francés Griego—
Toma un tren y escapa

a París sin boleto,
el milagroso Guardafrenos Mexicano
lo arroja fuera del rápido
tren, al Cielo, que
ya no viaja porque
el Cielo está en todas partes—
Sin embargo las viejas maricas
intervienen—
Rimbaud desconcierta a Rimbaud
entrena en la verde Guardia
Nacional, marchando orgulloso
en el polvo con sus héroes—
esperando mantenerse a salvo,
soñando con la última Chica.
—Las ciudades son bombardeadas cuando
él mira & mira & mastica
sus labios degenerados & mira
con ojos grises a
Francia Amurallada—

André Gill fue precursor
de André Gide—
Largos paseos leyendo poemas
en el Genet Haystacks—
El Voyant ha nacido,
el vidente trastornado hace su
primer Manifesto,
da colores a las vocales
& a las consonantes preocupante cuidado,
cae bajo la influencia
de viejas Hadas Francesas
que lo acusan de estreñimiento
de cerebro & diarrea
de la boca—
Verlaine lo convoca a París
con menos aplomo del que él
tuvo para desterrar chicas a
Absinia—

“¡Merde!” grita Rimbaud
en los salones de Verlaine—
Chismes en París—la mujer de Verlaine
está celosa de un chico
sin cinturón en los pantalones
—El amor envía dinero desde Bruselas
—La madre de Rimbaud odia
la oportunidad de Madame
Verlaine—Degenerado Arthur

se sospecha que es un poeta
ahora—
Gritando en el granero
Rimbaud escribe Una Temporada en el Infierno,
su madre tiembla—
Verlaine envía dinero y balas
a Rimbaud—
Rimbaud va a la policía
& prueba su inocencia
como la pálida inocenca
de su deidad femenina Jesús
—¡Pobre Verlaine! 2 años
en la cárcel, aunque pudo haber
tenido un cuchillo en el corazón

¡Iluminaciones! ¡Stuttgart!
¡Estudio de Idiomas!
A pie Rimbaud camina
& atravesando los Alpes
pasa por Italia, en busca
de tréboles, conejos,
Reinos de Genios & delante
de su nada excepto la vieja
muerte del sol de Canaletto
en viejos edificios venecianos
—Rimbaud estudia idiomas
—escucha hablar de Allegheny,
de Brooklyn, de las últimas
Plagas Americanas—
Su hermana ángel muere—
¡Viena! ¡Él mira pasteles
& pierros viejos! ¡Eso espero!
Este gato loco se une
al ejército holandés
& navega a Java
al mando de la flota
a medianoche
en la proa, solo,
nadie escucha sus órdenes
pero todos los peces brillan
en el mar—Agosto no es
época para quedarse en Java—
Dirigiéndose a Egipto, de nuevo está
demorado en Italia así que
vuelve a casa al mullido sillón
pero inmediatamente se marcha
de nuevo, a Chipre, para
dirigir una banda de trabajadores
mineros,—¿a quién se
parece ahora, este Tardío
Rimbaud?—Polvo de roca
& negras espaldas & toses
secas, el sueño se eleva
en la mente del Francés
Africano—Los inválidos
de los trópicos siempre
son amados—El Mar Rojo
en Junio, la costa cruje
en Arabia—Havar,
Havar, el mágico puesto
comercial—Aden, Aden,
al Sur de los Beduinos—
Ogaden, Ogaden,
nunca conocido—(Mientras tanto
Verlaine se sienta en París
sobre coñacs preguntándose
cómo se vería Arthur
ahora, y cuán sombrías estarían
sus cejas puesto que creyeron
en la belleza de la ceja anterior)—
¿A quién le importa? ¿Qué clase
de franceses son estos?
¡Rimbaud, golpéame en la
cabeza con esa roca!

Rimbaud el Serio compone
elegantes & eruditos artículos
para las Sociedades Geográficas
Nacionales, & tras las guerras
envía a la chica harari
(¡Ja, ja!) de regreso
a Abisinia, & ella
era joven, tenía ojos
negros, gruesos labios, cabello
enrulado, y pechos como
moreno pulido con
pezones de cobre &
brazaletes & unía
sus manos detrás
de la espalda & tenía
hombros amplios como
los de Arthur & orejas pequeñas
— Una chica de cierta
casta, en Bronzeville—

Rimbaud también conoció
a polinesias de caderas estrechas
con largo cabello lacio
& pequeñas tetas & grandes pies—

Finalmente empieza
a comerciar armas ilegales
en Tajura
conduciendo caravanas, loco,
con un cinturón de oro
en su cintura—
¡Engañado por el Rey Menelek!
¡El Sha de Shoa!
¡Los ruidos de esos nombres
en aquella ruidosa mente
francesa!

El Cairo en el verano,
viento de amargo limón
& besos en el polvoriento parque
donde las chicas se sientan plegadas
al crepúsculo pensando
en nada—

¡Havar! ¡Havar!
En camilla a Zeyla
es llevado lamentando
su cumpleaños—el barco
regresa al castillo de caliza
de Marsella más triste que
el tiempo, que el sueño,
más triste que el agua
—Carcinoma, Rimbaud
comido por la enfermedad
de la sobrevida —Cortan
su hermosa pierna—
muere en los brazos
de Santa Isabelle
su hermana
& antes de subir al Cielo
envía sus francos a Djami,
Djami el niño havari
su criado personal
8 años en el Infierno
africano del francés
& y todo eso se suma
a nada, como

Dostoievsky, Beethoven
o Da Vinci—

Entonces, poetas, descansen un rato
y cállense:
nunca nada salió de la
de nada.

Rimbaud

Arthur!
On t’ appela pas Jean!
Born in 1854 cursing in Charle-
ville thus paving the way for
the abominable murderousnesses
of Ardennes—
No wonder your father left!
So you entered school at 8
—Proficient little Latinist you!
In October of 1869
Rimbaud is writing poetry
in Greek French—
Takes a runaway train

to Paris without a ticket,
the miraculous Mexican Brakeman
throws him off the fast
train, to Heaven, which
he no longer travels because
Heaven is everywhere —
Nevertheless the old fags
intervene—
Rimbaud nonplussed Rimbaud
trains in the green National
Guard, proud marching
in the dust with his heroes—
hoping to be buggered,
dreaming of the ultimate Girl.
—Cities are bombarded as
he stares & stares & chews
his degenerate lip & stares
with gray eyes at
Walled France—

Andre Gill was forerunner
to Andre Gide—
Long walks reading poems
in the Genet Haystacks—
The Voyant is born,
the deranged seer makes his
first Manifesto,
gives vowels colors
& consonants carking care,
comes under the influence
of old French Fairies
who accuse him of constipation
of the brain & diarrhea
of the mouth—
Verlaine summons him to Paris
with less aplomb than he
did banish girls to
Abyssinia—

“Merde!” screams Rimbaud
at Verlaine salons—
Gossip in Paris—Verlaine Wife
is jealous of a boy
with no seats to his trousers
—Love sends money from Brussels
—Mother Rimbaud hates
the importunity of Madame
Verlaine—Degenerate Arthur

is suspected of being a poet
by now—
Screaming in the barn
Rimbaud writes Season in Hell,
his mother trembles—
Verlaine sends money & bullets
into Rimbaud—
Rimbaud goes to the police
& presents his innocence
like the pale innocence
of his divine feminine Jesus
—Poor Verlaine, 2 years
in the can, but could have
got a knife in the heart

—Illuminations! Stuttgart!
Study of Languages!
On foot Rimbaud walks
& looks thru the Alpine
passes into Italy, looking
for clover bells, rabbits,
Genie Kingdoms & ahead
of his nothing but the old
Canaletto death of sun
on old Venetian buildings
—Rimbaud studies language
—hears of the Alleghanies,
of Brooklyn, of last
American Plages—
His angel sister dies—
Vienne! He looks at pastries
& pets old dogs! I hope!
This mad cat joins
the Dutch Army
& sails for Java
commanding the fleet
at midnight
on the bow, alone,
no one hears his Command
but every fishy shining
in the sea—August is no
time to stay in Java—
Aiming at Egypt, he’s again
hungup in Italy so he goes
back home to deep armchair
but immediately he goes
again, to Cyprus, to
run a gang of quarry
workers,—what did he
look like now, this Later
Rimbaud?—Rock dust
& black backs & hacks
of coughers, the dream rises
in the Frenchman’s Africa
mind,—Invalids from
the tropics are always
loved—The Red Sea
in June, the coast clanks
in Arabia—Havar,
Havar, the magic trading
post—Aden, Aden,
South of Bedouin—
Ogaden, Ogaden, never
known—(Meanwhile
Verlaine sits in Paris
over cognacs wondering
what Arthur looks like
now, & how bleak their
eyebrows because they believed
in earlier eyebrow beauty)—
Who cares? What kinda
Frenchmen are these?
Rimbaud, hit me over the
head with that rock!

Serious Rimbaud composes
elegant & learned articles
for National Geographic
Societies, & after wars
commands Harari Girl
(Ha Ha!) back
to Abyssinia, & she
was young, had black
eyes, thick lips, hair
curled, & breasts like
polished brown with
copper teats & ringlets
on her arms & joined
her hands upon her
central loin & had
shoulders as broad as
Arthur’s & little ears
—A girl of some
caste, in Bronzeville—

Rimbaud also knew
thinbonehipped Polynesians
with long tumbling hair
& tiny tits & big feet—

Finally he starts
trading illegal guns
in Tajoura
riding in caravans, mad,
with a belt of gold
around his waist—
Screwed by King Menelek!
The Shah of Shoa!
The noises of these names
in that noisy French
mind!

Cairo for the summer,
bitter lemon wind
& kisses in the dusty park
where girls sit folded
at dusk thinking
nothing—

Havar! Havar!
By litter to Zeyla
he’s carried moaning
his birthday—the boat
returns to chalk castle
Marseilles sadder than
time, than dream,
sadder than water
—Carcinoma, Rimbaud
is eaten by the disease
of overlife—They cut
off his beautiful leg—
He dies in the arms
of Ste Isabelle
his sister
& before rising to Heaven
sends his francs
to Djami, Djami
the Havari boy
his body servant
8 years in the African
Frenchman’s Hell,
& it all adds up
to nothing, like

Dostoevsky, Beethoven
or Da Vinci—

So, poets, rest awhile
& shut up:
Nothing ever came
of nothing.

Extraído de revista Yugen, número 6, Nueva York, 1960. Traducción de Juan Arabia para Buenos Aires Poetry, 2018.

El tributo de Moore a Ezra Pound, inédito hasta 1979 cuando apareció en The Marianne Moore Newsletter (III, 2, pp. 5-8), fue incluido en la edición de Schulman de The Poems of Marianne Moore, p. 79. Gran parte del poema se basó en la lectura de Blast de Moore en 1915. Aquí se presenta la traducción del poema y las páginas de Blast de la que Moore tomó notas. Son las páginas 22, 23, 48, 49 y la portada. La página 48 contiene los “Epitafios” de Pound, incluido el de Li Po, al que ella se refirió como “Pobre Li Po” y la 49 incluye “Meditatio“, que ella saluda como “Buena Meditatio”.


Juan Arabia

Ezra Pound:

“Frae bank to bank, frae wood to wood I rin.”

Las vueltas que das
no son tan nuevas
como admirables
“el vigor notifica tu
preSencia en SS*” y la pasión la teje.

Buena Meditatio
y el pobre Li Po;
y esa página de Blast, en la que
pequeños barcos navegan de un
lado a otro en líneas de abejas. ¡Bendice a Blast!

* Forma de S (S-shape): una curva doble que se asemeja a la curva de la letra S.

Ezra Pound:

“Frae bank to bank, frae wood to wood I rin.”

The rinning that you do,
Is not so new As it is admirable.
”Vigor informs your
SS Shape” and ardor knits it.

Good Meditatio
And poor Li Po;
And that page of Blast, on which
Small boats ply to and
Fro in bee lines. Bless Blast.


Modernist Journals Project (Brown and the University of Tulsa) | p. 22
Modernist Journals Project (Brown and the University of Tulsa) |p. 23
Modernist Journals Project (Brown and the University of Tulsa) | p. 48
Modernist Journals Project (Brown and the University of Tulsa) | p. 49
Modernist Journals Project (Brown and the University of Tulsa) | BLAST Cover

Extraído de The poems of Marianne Moore by Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
Publication date 2005 Publisher New York : Penguin Books | Traducción de Juan Arabia | Buenos Aires Poetry, 2021 | Imagen: George Platt Lynes.

T. S. ELIOT, POEMS WRITTEN IN EARLY YOUTH, FARRAR STRAUSS AND GIROUX, NEW YORK, 1967. Valerie Eliot, All rights reserved.
T. S. ELIOT, POEMAS ESCRITOS EN LA PRIMERA JUVENTUD. TRADUCCIÓN Y NOTAS DE JUAN ARABIA, COLECCIÓN ABRACADABRA, BUENOS AIRES POETRY, BUENOS AIRES, 2021.

En la graduación, 1905

I

Parados sobre la orilla de todo lo que conocemos
nos demoramos un momento en la duda,
luego, con una canción en nuestros labios, zarpamos
hacia el otro lado de la barra del puerto—no existe mapa que indique,
no existe luz para prevenir las rocas que se encuentran debajo,
pero sigamos adelante con valentía.

II

Como colonos que se embarcan en la playa
para buscar fortuna en alguna costa extranjera
bien saben que pierden lo que el tiempo no restaurará,
y cuando se van, entienden rápidamente
que aunque vuelvan a ver a su patria
ya no serán ciudadanos otra vez.

III

Avanzamos; como nubes con alas de relámpago que vuelan
después de una tempestad de verano, cuando algunos se apresuran
hacia el Norte, Sur y Este sobre el desperdicio del agua,
algunos hasta los límites occidentales del cielo
que el sol tiñe con muchos tintes espléndidos,
hasta que su defunción ya no pueda rastrearse.

IV

Aunque el camino sea tortuoso y lento,
aunque esté erizado de mil miedos,
para los ojos esperanzados de la juventud, todavía parece
un camino por el que crecen la rosa y el espino.
Esperamos que sea posible; ¡ojalá lo supiéramos!
¿Podríamos mirar hacia los años futuros?

V

Grandes deberes llaman—el siglo veinte,
el siglo más grandiosamente dotado,
convocatorias—quién sabe qué tiempo puede deparar,
o qué gran hazaña pueden ver los años lejanos,
qué conquista sobre el dolor y la miseria,
¡qué héroes más grandes que los de antaño!

VI

Pero si este siglo ha de ser más grande
que los anteriores, deben sus hijos forjarlo,
y nosotros somos sus hijos, debemos avanzar
con corazones ansiosos para ayudar a moldear bien su destino,
y ver que obtenga tan orgullosa propiedad,
y la conceda en los siglos futuros

VII

Un legado de beneficios—que en los años
venideros nos encontremos con aquellos que intentan
trabajar por el bien hasta su muerte,
y no pidamos otra recompensa que saber
que han ayudado a la causa de la victoria,
que con su ayuda se iza la bandera en lo alto.

VIII

En algún momento lejano, cuando estemos
viejos y canosos, sea cual sea nuestra suerte,
desearemos volver a ver el lugar
que, sea lo que sea que hayamos hecho,
sea cual fuere la tierra a la que hayamos ido,
a lo largo de los años nunca ha sido olvidado.

IX

Porque en los santuarios del alma
te subirán incienso de humo de altar
de fanes inmaculados de lúcida pureza,
¡oh escuela nuestra! Los años que transcurren
entre sí, a medida que avanzamos hacia la meta,
no tendrán poder para apagar la memoria.

X

Volveremos; y será para encontrar una escuela
diferente a la que conocemos ahora;
así será, pero sólo en apariencia.
Lo que la ha hecho grande, no dejado atrás,
la misma escuela en el futuro encontraremos
y de la que ahora partimos como alumnos.

XI

Avanzamos; como rostros revoloteando en un sueño;
fuera de tu cuidado y tutela pasamos
al mundo desconocido—clase tras clase,
Oh reina de las escuelas—un destello momentáneo,
una burbuja en la superficie de la corriente,
una gota de rocío sobre la hierba de la mañana;

XII

No mueres por cada año que transcurre,
tu honor y fama no harán más que aumentar
por siempre, y que palabras más fuertes
proclamen tu gloria para que todos la oigan;
que sean tuyos los hijos más dignos, lejanos y cercanos,
¡para difundir tu nombre sobre tierras y mares distantes!

XIII

Como has sido para tus hijos que se marchan,
no seas menos para los que siguen;
una guía para prevenirlos, un amigo para bendecir
antes que dejen tu cuidado en manos de tierras desconocidas;
y sea tu lema, orgulloso y sereno,
aun a medida de que pasen los años, la palabra “¡Progreso!”

XIV

Así que hemos terminado; no podemos demorarnos más;
éste es el final de cada historia: “Adiós”,
una palabra que resuena como una campana fúnebre
y que siempre somos reacios a pronunciar.
Pero es un llamado que no podemos desobedecer,
Exeunt omnes, con un último “adiós”.

At Graduation 1905

I

Standing upon the shore of all we know
We linger for a moment doubtfully,
Then with a song upon our lips, sail we
Across the harbor bar—no chart to show,
No light to warn of rocks which lie below,
But let us yet put forth courageously.

II

As colonists embarking from the strand
To seek their fortunes on some foreign shore
Well know they lose what time shall not restore,
And when they leave they fully understand
That though again they see their fatherland
They there shall be as citizens no more.

III

We go; as lightning-winged clouds that fly
After a summer tempest, when some haste
North, South, and Eastward o’er the water’s waste,
Some to the western limits of the sky
Which the sun stains with a many splendid dye,
Until their passing may no more be traced.

IV

Although the path be tortuous and slow,
Although it bristle with a thousand fears,
To hopeful eye of youth it still appears
A lane by which the rose and hawthorn grow.
We hope it may be; would that we might know!
Would we might look into future years.

V

Great duties call—the twentieth century
More grandly dowered that those which came before,
Summons—who knows what time may hold in store,
Or what great deed the distant years may see,
What conquest over pain and misery,
What heroes greater than were e’er of yore!

VI

But if this century is to be more great
Than those before, her sons must make her so,
And we are her sons, we must go
With eager hearts to help mold well her fate,
And see that she shall gain such proud estate
And shall on future centuries bestow

VII

A legacy of benefits—may we
In future years be found with those who try
To labor for the good until they die,
And ask no other guerdon than to know
That they have helpt the cause to victory,
That with their aid the flag is raised on high.

VIII

Sometime in distant years when we are grown
Gray-haired and old, whatever be our lot,
We shall desire to see again the spot
Which, whatsoever we have been or done
Or to what distant lands we may have gone,
Through all the years will ne’er have been forgot.

IX

For in the sanctuaries of the soul
Incense of altar-smoke shall rise to thee
From spotless fanes of lucid purity,
O school of ours! The passing years that roll
Between, as we press to the goal,
Shall not have power to quench the memory.

X

We shall return; and it will be to find
A different school from that which now we know;
But only in appearence ’twill be so.
That which has made it great, not left behind,
The same school in the future shall we find
As this from which as pupils now we go.

XI

We go; like flitting faces in a dream;
Out of thy care and tutelage we pass
Into the unknown world—class after class,
O queen of schools—a momentary gleam,
A bubble on the surface of the stream,
A drop of dew upon the morning grass;

XII

Thou dost not die—for eacho succeeding year
Thy honor and thy fame shall but increase
Forever, and may stronger words than these
Proclaim thy glory so that all may hear;
May worthier sons be thine, from far and near
To spread thy name o’er distant lands and seas!

XIII

As thou to thy departing sons hast been
To those that follow may’st thou be no less;
A guide to warn them, and a friend to bless
Before they leave thy care for lands unseen;
And let thy motto be, proud and serene,
Still as the years pass by, the word “Progress!”

XIV

So we are done; we may no more delay;
This is the end of every tale: “Farewell,”
A word that echoes like a funeral bell
And one that we are ever loth to say.
But ’tis a call we cannot disobey,
Exeunt omnes, with a las “farewell.”

T. S. ELIOT, POEMS WRITTEN IN EARLY YOUTH, FARRAR STRAUSS AND GIROUX, NEW YORK, 1967. Valerie Eliot, All rights reserved.
T. S. ELIOT, POEMAS ESCRITOS EN LA PRIMERA JUVENTUD. TRADUCCIÓN Y NOTAS DE JUAN ARABIA, COLECCIÓN ABRACADABRA, BUENOS AIRES POETRY, BUENOS AIRES, 2021.

Extraído de POEMS Written in Early Youth, by T.S. Eliot, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1969, p. 26 (original version in The Harvard Advocate, lxxxviii, January 26th, 1919. Signed: “T. S. Eliot.”) | Traducción de Juan Arabia, Buenos Aires Poetry, 2020. 

Spleen

Domingo: esta insatisfecha procesión
de decididos rostros dominicales;
bonetes, sombreros de seda, y gracias conscientes
que de tan repetidas desplazan
tu autocontrol mental
por esta digresión injustificada.

¡La tarde, la luz y el té!
niños y gatos en el callejón;
el abatimiento incapaz de amotinarse
contra esta tediosa conspiración.

Y la vida, algo calva y gris,
lánguida, fastidiosa, insípida,
aguarda con sombrero y guantes,
impecable de traje y corbata
(como impaciente por la demora)
en el umbral del Absoluto.

Spleen

Sunday: this satisfied procession
Of definite Sunday faces;
Bonnets, silk hats, and conscious graces
In repetition that displaces
Your mental self-possession
By this unwarranted digression.

Evening, lights, and tea!
Children and cats in the alley;
Dejection unable to rally
Against this dull conspiracy.

And Life, a little bald and gray,
Languid, fastidious, and bland,
Waits, hat and gloves in hand,
Punctilious of tie and suit
(Somewhat impatient of delay)
On the doorstep of the Absolute.

 

Texto publicado en Smith Academy Record, Vl. 8. No. 2, febrero de 1905. Firmado: “T. E.”. “A Fable for Feasters”, fue escrito como un ejercicio escolar. Se trata de la primera publicación de T. S. Eliot en forma impresa.

The doors, though barred and bolted most securely,
Gave way—my statement nobody can doubt,
Who knows the well known fact, as you do surely—
That ghosts are fellows whom you can’t keep out

Una fábula para banquetes

En Inglaterra, mucho antes que la realeza mormona,
el rey Enrique VIII descubrió que los monjes eran charlatanes,
y tomó las tierras y el dinero de los pobres,
e hizo que se derrumben sus abadías a sus espaldas,
había un pueblo fundado por algún normando
que cobraba un impuesto a todos los viajeros;
cerca de esta aldea había un monasterio
habitado por una banda de frailes alegres.

Eran poseedores de tierras ricas y amplias,
una huerta, un viñedo y una lechería;
siempre que moría algún viejo barón malvado,
él la añadía a sus tesoros—una hazaña nunca
antes vista—su fortuna se multiplicaba,
como si hubiera sido guardada por una especie de hada.
¡Ay! Ningún hada visitó a su anfitrión,
oh, no; mucho peor que eso, tenían un fantasma.

Un viejo pecador herético y malvado,
quizás, que había sido amurallado por sus crímenes;
de todos modos, a veces se acercaba a cenar,
cuando los monjes se divertían.
Robó las vacas más gordas y dejó las más delgadas
para suministrar toda la leche—alteró las campanadas,
y una vez se sentó en el prior del campanario,
para el asombro de todo el pueblo.

Cuando se acercó la Navidad, el abad juró
que ellos comerían su plato libres de espectros,
el demonio debe quedarse en casa—no se permiten fantasmas
en esta fiesta exclusiva. Desde el mar
compró por su cuenta una multitud
de reliquias de un santo español—y dijo:
“Si los fantasmas vienen sin ser invitados, entonces
me veré obligado a mantenerlos alejados por la fuerza”.

Él empapó con agua bendita la túnica que llevaba,
los pavos, capones y jabalíes que iban a comer,
incluso mojó al portero que sin quejarse
permanecía parado fuera de la puerta.
Para acortar una interminable historia,
no dejó inconclusa ninguna precaución sabia;
roció la habitación en la que iban a cenar,
y regó todo menos el vino.

Así, cuando se hicieron los preparativos,
los joviales epicúreos se sentaron a la mesa.
Temo que no sé mucho de los menús
de esa época—pero puedo repasar
la historia: hicieron una incursión
por cada pájaro y bestia en la fábula de Esopo
para completar su comida, pasteles y budines,
jaleas y tortas, entre otras cosas buenas.

Un imponente pavo real de pie sobre ambas patas
sostenido con dificultad para no caerse,
luego vino una vianda hecha con huevos de tortuga,
y después de eso un gran pastel de chorlito,
y jarras que contenían varios barriles
de cerveza, y queso que guardaban encubierto.
Por último, una cabeza de jabalí, que para llevarla les costó cuatro páginas,
su boca sostenía una manzana, su cráneo contenía salchichas.

Durante el brindis de Navidad los monjes cabeceaban,
una buena bebida añeja, aunque ya se había terminado—
Sus pies sobre la mesa se superpusieron
cada uno deseando no haber comido tanto ganso.
El abad, tras proponer cada brindis,
había bebido más jugo de uva del que debía.
Las luces comenzaron a arder en un azul distintivo,
como siempre lo hacen las luces en las historias de fantasmas.

Las puertas, incluso con barrotes y cerrojos seguros,
dio paso—de mi afirmación nadie puede dudar,
nadie como tú conoce mejor este hecho—
que los fantasmas son tipos a los que no se puede excluir,
es una cosa de mucho lamentar
que se permita a gente tan resbaladiza,
porque a menudo llegan en momentos incómodos,
como bien conocen todos aquellos que hayan leído esta historia.

El abad se sentó pegado a su silla,
su ojo se volvió del tamaño de cualquier dólar,
el fantasma lo tomó después bruscamente del pelo
y le pidió que lo acompañara, con acentos huecos.
Los frailes no pudieron hacer otra cosa que quedar boquiabiertos,
el espíritu tiró de él con rudeza por el cuello,
y antes de que alguien pudiera decir “¡Oh, jiminy!”
la pareja se desvaneció rápidamente por la chimenea.

Naturalmente, todos buscaron por todas partes,
pero no se pudo encontrar ni un vestigio del obispo,
los monjes, cuando alguien preguntaba, declaraban
que San Pedro arrebataría al cielo a su señor renombrado,
aunque los malvados dijeron (esos sinvergüenzas no son raros)
que el curso del Abad estaba más cerca del subsuelo;
pero la iglesia enseguida le puso a su nombre la empuñadura
de Santo, reprendiendo así todo ese escándalo.

Aunque después de esto, los monjes se volvieron más devotos,
y vivieron exclusivamente de la comida y leche para el desayuno;
cada mañana, de cuatro a cinco, uno tomaba un puñal
y azotaba a sus compañeros hasta que se volvían frailicos y buenos.
Espíritus que desde ese momento se quedaron sin comarca,
y vivieron de su admiración. Tenemos
el veraz registro de todos estos hechos
de un antiguo manuscrito hallado en las ruinas.

A Fable for Feasters

In England, long before that royal Mormon
King Henry VIII found out that monks were quacks,
And took their lands and money from the poor men,
And brought their abbeys tumbling at their backs,
There was a village founded by some Norman
Who levied on all travelers his tax;
Nearby this hamlet was a monastery
Inhabited by a band of friars merry.

They were possessors of rich lands and wide,
An orchard, and a vineyard, and a dairy;
Whenever some old villainous baron died,
He added to their hoards—a deed which ne’er he
Had done before—their fortune multiplied,
As if they had been kept by a king fairy.
Alas! no fairy visited their host,
Oh, no; much worse than that, they had a ghost.

Some wicked and heretical old sinner
Perhaps, who had been walled up for his crimes;
At any rate, he sometimes came to dinner,
Whene’er the monks were having merry times.
He stole the fatter cows and left the thinner
To furnish all the milk—upset the chimes,
And once he sat the prior on the steeple,
To the astonishment of all the people.

When Christmas time was near the Abbot vowed
They’d eat their meal from ghosts and phantoms free,
The fiend must stay home—no ghosts allowed
At this exclusive feast. From over sea
He purchased at his own expense a crowd
Of relics from a Spanish saint—said he:
“If ghosts come uninvited, then, of course,
I’ll be compelled to keep them off by force.”

He drencht the grown he wore with holy water,
The turkeys, capons, boars, they were to eat,
He even soakt the uncomplainging porter
Who stood outside the door from head to feet.
To make a rather lengthy story shorter,
He left no wise precaution incomplete;
He doused the room in which they were to dine,
And watered everything except the wine.

So when preparations had been made,
The jovial epicures sat down to table.
The menus of that time I am afraid
I don’t know much about—as well’s I’m able
I’ll go through the account: They made a raid
On every bird and beast in Æsop’s fable
To fill out their repast, and pies and puddings,
And jellies, pasties, cakes among the good things.

A mighty peacock standing on both legs
With difficulty kept from toppling over,
Next came a viand made of turtle eggs,
And after that great pie made of plover,
And flagons which perhaps held several kegs
Of ale, and cheese which they kept under cover.
Last, a boar’s head, which to bring in took four pages,
His mouth an apple held, his skull held sausages.

Over their Christmas wassail the monks dozed,
A fine old drink, though now gone out use—
His feet upon the table superposed
Each wisht he had not eaten so much goose.
The Abbot with proposing every toast
Had drank more than he ought t’have a grape juice.
The lights began to burn distinctly blue,
As in ghost stories lights most always do.

The doors, though barred and bolted most securely,
Gave way—my statement nobody can doubt,
Who knows the well known fact, as you do surely—
That ghosts are fellows whom you can’t keep out;
It is a thing to be lamented sorely
Such slippery folk should be allowed about,
For often they drop in at awkward moments,
As everybody’ll know who read this romance.

The Abbot sat as pasted to his chair,
His eye became the size of any dollar,
The ghost then took him roughly by the hair
And bade him come with him, in accents hollow.
The friars could do nought but gape and stare,
The spirit pulled him rudely by the collar,
And before any one could say “O jiminy!”
The pair had vanisht swiftly up the chimney.

Naturally every one searcht everywhere,
But not a shred of Bishop could be found,
The monks, when anyone questioned, would declare
St. Peter’d snatch to heaven their lord renowned,
Though the wicked said (such rascals are not rare)
That the Abbot’s course lay nearer underground;
But the church straightway put to his name the handle
Of Saint, thereby rebuking all such scandal.

But after this the monks grew most devout,
And lived on milk and breakfast food entirely;
Each morn from four to five one took a knout
And flogged his mates ‘till the grew good and friarly.
Spirits from that time forth they did without,
And lived the admiration of the shire. We
Got the veracious record of these doings
From and old manuscript found in the ruins.

Extraído de POEMS Written in Early Youth, by T.S. Eliot, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1969, pp. 3-8 | Traducción de Juan Arabia | Buenos Aires Poetry, 2021 | Imagen: © The Estate of T. S. Eliot.

Extraído de La Piccioletta Barca 2021 | Issue 36 | October, 2021


This novel by Jay Parini, while displaying true events that occurred fifty years ago, can work from various places. First of all, as an autobiographical document, written with a spume similar to the dramatic and amusing stories by John Fante, possible outcome of the mixture of Italian-American blood that unites them. It can also be read as the record of the training of a poet, the difference that lies between the sterile academic world and the real one, that in which the frustrated professors and true writers such as Robert Graves and George Mackay Brown inhabit.

As if the story of the young Parini in the North of Scotland was not enough, escaping from the Vietnam War and shaping his literary career with the excuse of a doctorate in literature, less believable will be the irruption of Borges (the real one, at his seventy years of age) in these pages. And we are not talking about the Borges we know from his literature, his lectures or his interviews. Never the disseminated Borges, magnified or reduced to ideological ashes. Possibly the Borges more similar to the one from Adrogué, the one who by day refuted Frank Raymond Leavis and the theories on Keats by Amy Lowell, and by night lost himself in the limited multitude of the province.

The plausibility of this encounter is Alastair Reid, at that moment translator of Borges and tutor of the young Parini, who entrusts him for a week the care and protection of the Argentine given a familiar emergency in London.

Parini had not read Borges, although the latter was already renowned and had been translated into almost every tongue. To that encounter between two strangers, a car trip to the Scottish Highlands followed (Cairngorm, Aviemore, Inverness), which the Argentine insisted on knowing. Parini’s job was not very encouraging: to describe to a blind poet the landscapes and the results, detail by detail, impression by impression: “He would pay for our expenses, but this naming aloud would be my contribution to the trip. ‘Nothing exists,’ he said, ‘until it has found its way into the language.’”.  

In Borges his systematic alterations persist: everything that exists is literature, and everything has been eternally fixed. It only remains to wait for the angels to land on certain people’s shoulders. This way, a Highland landscape is a verse by Stevenson, the Stirling Bridge is a poem by Blind Harry.

This book, crucial to some extent, reformulates the symbol and myth of Borges, who with his own words, reminds the young apprentice: “Myth is a tear in the fabric of reality, and immense energies pour through these holy fissures. Our stories, our poems, are rips in this fabric as well, however slight”.

Despite all the metaliterature that exists in relation to Borges, few texts remember this fabric of reality, its immense energy.

Two anecdotes by Parini are memorable. The first, Borges’s encounter with the North Sea, since, as a child, he already longed for its presence: “Borges stopped on the brink of a sweeping dune, listening to the water or perhaps the gods.  He lifted his arms with his cane in the air and whirled around, but when he stopped, he was facing us and the Old Course, not the sea.  In a thundering manner, he began to recite The Seafarer in its original Anglo-Saxon: Mæg ic be me sylfum / soðgied wrecan, / siþas secgan”.

But there exists another real fabric, the Loch Ness and its mythologies: Borges facing Grendel, the monster from avernus, reciting the Song of Creation, falling from a boat.

Nothing of this, as well as Parini’s story, seems to be forged in a supernatural manner: the humility is infinite.

And Borges’ path becomes clearer, day after day: “The battle between good and evil persists, and the writer’s work is constantly to reframe the argument”.


Borges and Me: An encounter by Jay Parini is published by Canongate.

This text was originally published in Spanish in Revista Ñ. It is written and translated by Ignacio Oliden

Kennings

Fiestas de águilas muriendo por sombrero
castas y sepulcros de terciopelo
las escandinavas kennings
levantando los cadáveres del alba
el sonido de la imaginación de Arnaut
compatible con la de Eliot

Y dado que ahora solo fluye
lo que asciende lejos del centro
el águila y el mástil en la proa
el mar se convierte en la tierra del cisne
donde las piedras de la cara
buscan las tormentas del suelo

El distribuidor de espadas
permanece lejos del crecimiento 
donde el cuerno de la ola
y el daño de los bosques
borra la luz de las estrellas
en el encuentro de las fuentes

Texto de la versión original en The Harvard Advocate, lxxxviii, 7, 1910. Firmado: “T. S. Eliot”.  El tema de este ejercicio a la manera de Laforgue fue sugerido por la segunda estrofa de su “Locutus de Pierrot, xii”:

Encore un de mes pierrots mort ;
Mort d’un chronique orphelinisme ;
C’était un coeur plein de dandysme
Lunaire, en un drôle de corps.

Humouresque

(A la manera de J. Laforgue)

Una de mis marionetas está muerta,
pero todavía no estoy cansado del juego―
aunque me siento débil de cuerpo y cabeza,
(un títere tiene tal estructura).

Pero esta marioneta muerta
me gustaba bastante: una cara común,
(el tipo de rostro que olvidamos)
pellizcada en una mueca cómica y aburrida;

Mitad intimidación, mitad aire implorante,
boca torcida al ritmo de la última melodía;
su mirada de quién-diablo-eres;
traducida, tal vez, a la luna.

Déjalo ahí, junto a las otras inútiles cosas
del Limbo, arengando espectros;
“la moda más elegante desde la primavera pasada”,
“el estilo más reciente en la Tierra, lo juro”.

“¿Por qué no consiguen algo con más clase?”
(débil desprecio de nariz),
“tu, maldita luz de luna, peor que el gas―”
“ahora en Nueva York”― y así continúa.

Lógica de una marioneta, todas equivocadas
premisas; sin embargo en alguna estrella
¡un héroe!― ¿A dónde pertenecería?
Pero, incluso de esa forma, ¡qué máscara más bizarra!

Humouresque

(After J. Laforgue)

One of my marionettes is dead
Though not yet tired of the game―
But weak in body as in head,
(A jumping-jack has such a frame).

But this deceaséd marionette
I rather liked: a common face,
(The kind of face that we forget)
Pinched in a comic, dull grimace;

Half bullying, half imploring air,
Mouth twisted to the latest tune;
His who-the-devil-are-you stare;
Translated, maybe, to the moon.

With Limbo’s other useless things
Haranguing spectres, set him there;
“The snappiest fashion since last spring’s,
“The newest style, on Earth, I swear.

“Why don’t you people get some class?
(Feebly contemptuous of nose),
“Your damned thin moonlight, worse than gas―
“Now in New York”―and so it goes.

Logic a marionette’s, all wrong
Of premises; yet in some star
A hero!–Where would he belong?
But, even at that, what mask bizarre!


Extraído de POEMS Written in Early Youth, by T.S. Eliot, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1969, pp. 24-25 | Traducción de Juan Arabia | Buenos Aires Poetry, 2021. 

Bulmenia

From Bulmenia, to be published in 2022

(translated by Ignacio Oliden)


Yo trabajo de noche, desertando al ogro insaciable
que desfigura a los jóvenes y los deja acéfalos
sin cambiar una bolsa de manzanas por mi cabeza

Trabajo como el mar, como una sombra,
donde unos gorriones saltan sobre las migas del día
y las golondrinas hacen un escándalo por un pedazo de cielo

Bebo cianuro y venenos desconocidos,
           porque esta sed no tiene lámparas
y su cáscara se multiplica como la pobreza

Trabajo como todos trabajan,
sin lograr una estrella, sin saciar una pluma
            perdiendo todos los rumbos
dando pequeñas muertes en partes desiguales sobre mi cuerpo

           Sin alcanzar tan solo uno de mis sueños
dejo embriagar a unos pocos desamparados, restos esclavizados
que han sido y que por siempre serán difamados
           secados en el aire del crimen


Bulmenia


I work at night, forsaking the insatiable ogre
that leaves the young men disfigured and acephalous,
not trading a sack of apples for my head.

I work like the sea, like a shadow,
where sparrows jump on the crumbs of the day,
and the swallows make a fuss for a bite of sky.

I drink cyanide and poisons unknown,
           for this thirst has no lamps
and its crust is multiplied like dearth.

I work as everybody works,
not achieving a star, not satiating a quill
           losing the ways
giving slight uneven deaths on my body.

           Not reaching at least one of my dreams,
I let some helpless drunks proceed, enslaved remains
that have been and forever will be defamed
          dried in the air of the crime.



A NOTE ON BULMENIA


Puis, quand j’ai ravalé mes rêves avec soin,
Je me tourne, ayant bu trente ou quarante chopes,
Et me recueille, pour lâcher l’âcre besoin

RIMBAUD: “Oraison du Soir”


Arabia is configured in this monological song through the trade that has fallen to him, the craft that leads him to a perpetual activity, as the present tense of the intransitive verb “to work” depicts. At his desk, Arabia contours his own work: this is his clay which continually spins in its wheel, and to which he adds “cyanide and poisons unknown” to maintain its plasticity. Arabia “drinks” the cyanide, and its present tense in this case, accounts for the undeath, (maybe the unwanted undeath). We find what Harold Bloom calls “the suicidal version of Whitmanianism”, present in certain poems such as “Walking Around”, by Neruda:

(…)
Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos,
con furia, con olvido,
paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia,
y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre:
calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran
lentas lágrimas sucias.
[I stride along with calm, with eyes, with shoes,
with fury, with forgetfulness,
I pass, I cross offices and stores full of orthopaedic appliances,
and courtyards hung with clothes hanging from a wire:
underpants, towels and shirts which weep
slow dirty tears.] (W.S. Merwin’s translation)

Certainly, it is Neruda with whom Arabia writes. More particularly, the Neruda of “Entierro en el Este”:

Yo trabajo de noche, rodeado de ciudad,
de pescadores, de alfareros, de difuntos quemados
con azafrán y frutas, envueltos en muselina escarlata (…)
[I work at night, surrounded by city
of fishermen, of potters, of the burned dead
with saffron and fruit, wrapped in scarlet muslin]

But neither Neruda nor Arabia work in the real night, nor the dead are the real dead (in “Entierro en el este” a burial is described), but both inhabit the other night, the night of the conscience of the crowds, the one which is image of death. Arabia hands in his poetry, hands in his tears and his razzle, dirty with cyanide and ink and the corruptive germ of the city of man, and lets them be drank by someone else, a fellow poet perhaps, but indeed a fellow sleepless “drunk”, alienated, freed from the daily order. It is a sacrifice through which, first Arabia, and then his fellow drunks, consume the “poisons unknown”, and experience and cope with language.

It is to work under the light of a lamp, in a room that is an old yellow stamp as seen from a street in Buenos Aires, but that hardly contradicts the darkness of the alley; to obey the basic daily chore to justify one’s existence. Arabia must drink cyanide in order to produce, and must produce poetry in order to exist. I think now of Rimbaud, who works at night too, like Neruda and Arabia; Rimbaud, who begins his “Oraison du Soir” by saying: Je vis assis [I live sitting down], and who, like Arabia, drinks his “fuel” in order to work, and works “holding his chop filled with strong flutes”.

And what about the poet’s clay? What about Arabia’s work which has been nourishing and will continue being continually unsatisfied? The quill is not satiated, the “thirst has no lamps”, just like Rimbaud’s. The poet continues to model it in its perpetual spinning, and with it, he shapes himself. Here, Arabia and Rimbaud remind me of Stephen Crane’s creature in the desert:

(…)
Who, squatting upon the ground,
He held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter–bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it’s bitter
And because it is my heart.

Juan Arabia & Abhay K. | Buenos Aires, 2019

Poetry Comes to Museum LXI

Venue

Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum

Activity Curator

Wang Yin

Moderator

Hu Xudong

Poet

Juan Arabia

Poet: Juan Arabia
Host: Hu Xudong
Planner: Wang Yan
Interpreter: Wang Longxing
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Time: 14:30-16:30
Venue: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum (Xinyefang 3, Wenshui Road 210, Jing’an District)
Transportation Tip: Metro Line 1, Wenshui Road Station, Exit 3

Established in 2012, “Poetry Comes to Museum” has been going on for 6 years as a “poetry + art” project developed by Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum. As the museum physically moved from Changning distrcit to Pudong district, and now in 2019, to Jingan district, the project has witnessed the growth of the museum. At this new venue where the industrialized architecture coexists with the art environment, we are going to continue our project, and keep on inviting more famous poets, and young poets, with diverse background and styles. We hope to construct an on-site poetry art conversation platform where more connections can be made between contemporary life and contemporary poetry.

At Art Museum

Poetry will meet you eventually, some hid between the lines, some in the language (Shuntaro Tanikawa).

Poetry makes everyone stay—poets, artists, and listeners—exploring the infinite possibilities in imagination (Beidao).

The 61st Poetry Comes to Museum invites Juan Arabia, an Argentinian poet, translator, literature critic born in the 1980s. For Juan Arabia who puts his own life into poetry, being a writer means living a fuller life in a real and radical way, and having a real commitment to his fellow people and society.

Juan Arabia (born June 18, 1983 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a poet, translator, and literary critic. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. He is currently the director of the press and journal Buenos Aires Poetry, which has published works by writers including John Ashbery, Dan Fante, Robert Darnton, Mark Ford, and Alan Jenkins, among others. His translations include Nuevos Versos y Canciones (Arthur Rimbaud, 2014); Un-gin-meando… (Dan Fante, 2015); and Lustra (Ezra Pound, 2016), among the others. His published books include John Fante: Entre la niebla y el polvo (El fin de la noche: Buenos Aires, 2011); Il Nemico dei Thirties (Samuele Editore, 2017); and collana Scilla (Fana, Italia); Desalojo de la naturaleza (Buenos Aires Poetry, 2018). His latest poetry collection will be published by Pre-Textos (Spain) in 2020.