Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Favila* or: The Ember (José María Eguren)

En la arena
Se ha bañado la sombra
Una, dos
Libélulas fantasmas...

Aves de humo
Van a la penumbra
Del bosque.

Medio siglo
Y en el límite blanco
Esperamos la noche.

El pórtico
Con perfume de algas,
El último mar.

En la sombra
Ríen los triángulos.

(José María Eguren)


In the sand
Has bathed the shade--
One, two phantom dragonflies...

Birds of smoke
are wafting toward the half-shadow
of the trees.

Half an age
Half a century
Half a world

and at the very limit of white
we wait for night.

The portico
perfumed with seaweed--
the last and ultimate sea.

In the shadow
the triangles laugh.

(tr. E. A. Costa  26  November 2013

* favila = pavesa (burning cinder) and is also the name of the second King of Asturias, memorialized by a famous triptych in bas-relief on the portal of the monastery of San Pedro de Villa Nueva. The triptych shows the king  kissing his wife before he is off on a bear hunt in which he is killed. The poem is a tour de force of layered and intertwined types,  subtle eroticism and mathematics.

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