Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vicente Huidobro: Horas/ Hours

El villorio
Un tren detenido sobre el llano

En cada charco duermen estrellas sordas
Y el agua tiembla
Cortinaje al viento

La noche cuelga en la arboleda

En el campanario florecido
Una gotera viva
Desangra las estrellas

De cuando en cuando
Las horas maduras
Caen sobre la vida.

Vicente Huidobro


Jerkwater town
A train stopped on the plain

In every pool sleep unhearing stars
And the water trembles
Curtain to the wind

Night hangs in the copse.

In the flowered bell tower
A living trickle
Bleeds the stars white.

From time to time
The ripe hours
Fall upon life.


E A. Costa      2 April, 2016    Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: A “jerkwater town” in English is a small or
insignificant village where trains drawn by steam
locomotives stopped to refill their boilers. These small
towns and villages did not even merit a water tower
and water had to be “jerked” in buckets from streams
or ponds by the tracks. The expression fits the Spanish
villorrio” nicely, and in the poem even to its stopped train.
Huidobro was tutored by British and French governesses.
He also traveled to New York at least once in 1921,
 though that visit was a few years after he published this
work in Poemas árticos. Did Huidobro perhaps know
the English expression?

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