Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dreams in Dialogue

My translation of Los suenos dialogados by Antonio Machado.

I.
How in the high plains your figure
To me appears! ... My word evokes
Green meadow and bare plateau,
The brush in bloom, Cinderella Rock.

And with obedient memory, black oak
Springs to the hill, poplars grow down river,
The shepherd moves slowly up the slope;
A balcony shines in town: my own,

The teacher. See? Toward Aragon, distant,
The Moncayo range, pink and white ...
Watch the fire of that scarlet cloud,

And the star in the blue, wife.
Beyond the Duero, Santana Hill
Turns lavender in the evening silence.

II.
Why, tell me, does my heart flee
To the high plains from this shore,
And in this land of mariners and farmers
I sigh for Castillian wastes?

Nobody chooses his love. Destiny brought me
One day to these grey clay spaces
Which drive away the cold snow falling
On the shadows of the dead oak trees.

From that one piece of Spain, high and rocky,
I bring you today, Guadalquivar flower,
A branch of rough rosemary.

My heart is where it was born
-- Not to life, to love -- near the Duero...
The white wall and cypress high!

III.
The embers of a sunset, lady,
Broken off the brown thundercloud
Were painted on Cinderella Rock
Of Luene Hill resplendent at dawn.

A dawn that curdles ice-cold rock
Astonishing and terrible to the traveler
But never to the lion fierce in clear day
Or the giant bear down the mountain gorge.

With the incense of love, I lit
The murky dream of hope and fear,
I go to the sea, to oblivion

-- And not like how the rock-soft night
Spins a shadow round the world.
Do not call me, because I cannot turn.

IV.
O solitude, my sole companion,
Oh muse of wonder, who gave my voice
The word I never asked for,
Answer my question: with whom am I speaking?

Away from the noisy masquerade
I enjoy my friendless sadness
With you, lady of the veiled face,
Always veiled to share my words with me.

Today I think: this who is what I am
Is no longer an enigma to me, this face
Recreated in this intimate mirror

But the loving mystery of your voice.
Uncover your face, for I see your eye
Fixed on me like a diamond.

1 comment:

the walking man said...

O solitude my souls companion, continue on in quiet reflection that only undesired noise can explore.