Archive for translations

05.19.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Get Drunk (a poem by Charles Baudelaire, translated from the original French)

Always be drunk.
That’s it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness
of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
“Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”

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05.02.2008

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Until the day I will return (an untitled poem by Cesar Vallejo, as translated by Clayton Eshleman and Jose Rubia Barcia)

Until the day I will return, from this stone
my definitive heel will be born,
with its set of crimes, its ivy,
its dramatic stubbornness, its olive tree.

Until the day I will return, continuing,
with the frank uprightness of a bitter cripple,
my periplus, from well to well, I understand
that man will have to be good, notwithstanding.

Until the day I will return and until
the animal I am walks, among his judges,
our brave little finger will be big,
dignified, an infinite finger among fingers.