Homage to Francisca Aguirre – The Lullaby Poems (Translated from Spanish)

Francisca Aguirre, Premio Nacional de las Letras 2018 El jurado la ha elegido 
“por estar su poesía (la más machadiana de la generación del medio siglo)
entre la desolación y la clarividencia, la lucidez y el dolor"

Francisca Aguirre, National Literature Prize 2018
The jury chose it "because its poetry is (the most Machadian* of the generation 
of the half century) between desolation and clairvoyance, lucidity and pain"

* In the tradition of Antonio Machado

https://elpais.com/cultura/2018/11/13

Francisca Aguirre was born in 1930 in Alicante, Spain, and fled with her family to France 
at the end of the Spanish Civil War, where they lived in political exile.  When the Germans 
invaded Paris in 1942, her family was forced to return to Spain, where her father, painter 
Lorenzo Aguirre, was subsequently murdered by Francisco Franco's regime.  
Aguirre published Ítaca (1972), currently available in English (Ithaca [2004]), when she was 
42 years old. Her work has garnered much critical success, winning the Leopoldo Panero, 
Premio Ciudad de Irún, and Premio Galliana, among other literary prizes.  
Aguirre is married to the poet Félix Grande and is the mother of poet Guadalupe Grande.



From "NANAS PARA DORMIR DESPERDICIOS" 

LULLABIES TO LULL THROWN AWAYS

by FRANCISCA AGUIRRE

Translated by Amparo Arrospíde & Robin Ouzman Hislop ***

NANA DE LAS SOBRAS                                                                             A Esperanza y Manuel Rico Vaya

canción la de las sobras, eso sí
                      que era una nana para dormir el hambre.
Vaya canción aquella
                      que cantaba mi abuela con aquella voz
que era la voz de la misericordia
disfrazada de voz angelical.
                             Porque la voz de mi abuela
nos cantaba la canción de las sobras.
                             Y nosotras, que no conocíamos el pan,
cantábamos con ella que
                             las sobras de pan eran sagradas,
las sobras de pan nunca se tiran.

Siempre recordaré su hermosa voz
cantando aquella nana mientras el hambre nos dormía.
                                         **
LULLABY FOR LEFTOVERS                                                          To  Esperanza and Manuel Rico

Well, a leftovers song,
                    that truly was a lullaby to lull hunger to sleep.
Wow, that song 
                    my grandmother sang with a voice
that was the voice of mercy
disguised as the voice of an angel.
                              Because my grandmother´s voice
sang for us the leftovers song.
                              And we, who did not know bread,
sang together with her that
                              bread leftovers were holy,
bread leftovers shall never be thrown away.

I will always remember her beautiful voice
singing that lullaby while hunger lulled us to sleep.

                                                                                                       **

NANA DE LAS HOJAS CAÍDAS                                                                       
                                                                                                                       A Marián Hierro
Casi todo lo que se pierde tiene música,
                                                             una música oculta, inolvidable.
Pero las hojas, esas criaturas parlanchinas
que son la voz de nuestros árboles,
                    tienen, como la luz, el agua y las libélulas
una nana secreta y soñadora.
                    Lo que se pierde, siempre nos deja
                       un rastro misterioso y cantarín.

Las hojas verdes o doradas
              cantan su desamparo mientras juegan al corro.
Cantan mientras los árboles las llaman
como llaman las madres a sus hijos
sabiendo que es inútil, que han crecido
                     y que se han ido a recorrer el mundo.

                                                                                                      ****

LULLABY FOR FALLEN LEAVES
                                                                                                                     To Marián Hierro

Almost everything which is lost has a music,
                                                                     a hidden, unforgettable music.
But leaves, those chattering creatures
who are the voices of our trees
                       have -- like light, water and dragonflies --
a secret dreamy lullaby.
                                   That which is lost to us, always leaves
                                           the mysterious trace of its song.
Green or golden leaves
                        sing of their neglect as they dance their ring a ring of roses.
They sing while trees call to them
as mothers do calling their children
knowing it is futile, as they have grown up
                                     and left to travel the world over.
                                                                                          
                                                                                                                               **

NANA DE LAS CARTAS VIEJAS

Tienen el olor desvalido del abandono
y el tono macilento del silencio.
Son desperdicios de la memoria, residuos de dolor, 
                                                   y hay que cantarles muy bajito
para que no despierten de su letargo.
En ocasiones las manos se tropiezan con ellas
                                                  y el pulso se acelera
porque notamos que las palabras	
                                                 como si fueran mariposas
quieren bailar delante de nosotros
y volver a contarnos el secreto
                                                 que duerme entre sus páginas.
Son las abandonadas,
                                 los residuos de un tiempo de desdicha,
relatan pormenores de un combate
                                 y al rozarlas oímos el tristísimo andar
de los presos en los penales.

                                                                                                         **

LULLABY FOR OLD LETTERS

They give off the helpless smell of neglectfulness
and the emaciated tone of silence.
They are memory´s cast offs, residues of pain
                                                   and should be sung to in a low croon
so as not to awaken them from their lethargy.
Sometimes your hands chance upon them
                                                   and your pulse races
because we realize that words
                                                   wish to dance before us
as if they were butterflies
and tell us again the secret
                                                  sleeping inside their pages.
They are the neglected,
                                                  the remnants of unhappy times,
recounting the details of a struggle
                                                  and as we brush them we hear the saddest steps
of prisoners in jails.

                                                                                                          **

NANA DEL HUMO

La nana del humo tiene muchos detractores,
casi nadie quiere cantarla.
                                            Muchos dicen que el humo los ahoga,
otros piensan que eso de dormir al humo
                                            no les da buena espina,
que tiene algo de gafe.
                                   El humo no resulta de fiar:
en cuanto asoma su perfil oscuro
todo son malas conjeturas:
                                             se nos está quemando el bosque,
aquella casa debe de estar ardiendo.
El humo es un extraño desperdicio,
                                             tiene muy mala prensa.
Es un abandonado,
                                   es un incomprendido;
casi nadie recuerda que el humo es un vocero,
un triste avisador de lo que se nos avecina.
Y por eso, cuando lo escucho vocear con impotencia
yo le canto la nana del silencio
                                   para que no se sienta solo.
                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                       **

LULLABY FOR SMOKE

The lullaby for smoke doesn´t get many supporters,
almost nobody wants to sing its song.
                                               Many say smoke stifles them,
others think to lull smoke to sleep
                                               makes them queasy, 
that it´s a bit of a jinx.
                                  Smoke is not trustworthy:
as soon as it rears its dark head
it conjures up conjectures
                                                        -- a forest fire,
a house burning down.
Smoke is a weird remain,
                                             it´s got bad reports.
It´s a reject,
                                  it´s a misunderstood thing;
almost nobody remembers smoke is a herald,
a sad forwarner of what looms over us.
That´s why, when I hear it calling out helplessly,
I sing to it the lullaby for silence
                                             so that it doesn´t feel so lonely.


                                                                                                     ***
Translators:

Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published 
seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos 
poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, 
Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on 
literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines. 
She has received numerous awards. 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include 
All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist 
the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande 
and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. 
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest 
Collected Poems Volume at  Next-Arrivals 

Francisca Aguirre Nana del desperdicio de la tristeza Lullaby for Sadness Amparo Arrospide Robin Ouzman Hislop Translated Poem

Francisca Agirre

 

Nana del desperdicio de la tristeza

 

 Al abrigo de la arboleda de Soto del Real

   y cerca de María Fernanda y Emilio Barrachina

 

Tengo delante de los ojos

el asombro de la arboleda

que me abraza.

Miro los fresnos susurrantes,

 los callados abetos,

los sauces melancólicos

 y no sé bien qué hacer

con el desperdicio intangible

 que llamamos tristeza.

 La tristeza es quizás

 el mejor animal de compañía,

 

la fiera más doméstica,

 pero también la más hambrienta.

 

La tristeza es un hueco que nos sigue

y que al menor descuido nos alcanza,

se sitúa delante de nosotros

y nos canta su nana de desdichas,

su lamento de fiera abandonada,

su machacona relación de oprobios,

su quejido de bicho que se empeña

en pegarse a nosotros

 y decirnos

que no la abandonemos

 a su suerte,

que nuestra obligación es adoptarla.

El viejo desperdicio de la pena,

tan opaco y radiante a un mismo tiempo,

nos va reconociendo con su hocico

y nos lame las manos con su lengua

y se acurruca manso a nuestro lado:

conoce palmo a palmo

 el territorio.

Sus lágrimas nos lavan con modestia,

mientras el animal nos sigue terco,

 con la amable seguridad

que da el abismo.

 

***

 

LULLABY FOR SADNESS

 

 Sheltered by the Soto del Real grove

 and close to María Fernanda y Emilio Barrachina

 

Before my eyes stands

the sheltering grove´s amazement

 which embraces me.

I look at the whispering ash trees,

 the still firs,

the melancholic willows

 and am at a loss

with the intangible remains

 we call sadness.

Sadness is perhaps

 the best pet to keep you company,

 

the most domestic beast,

 but also the most ravenous.

Sadness is a vacuum that pursues us

that leaps out on us unawares

to confront us

to lull us with its lullaby of wretchedness,

its lament of a forsaken beast,

and its monotonous list of injuries,

its plaintive creature´s groan insisting

in attaching itself to us

 and imploring us

not to abandon it

 to its fate,

that it is our duty to adopt it.

The old remnant of sorrow,

so opaque and bright at the same time

that starts by recognition through nose

then the licking of hands with tongue

tamely curling up at our side:

bit by bit it takes hold

 of the land.

Meekly its tears wash us

whilst the beast pursues us stubbornly,

 with that gentle assurance

offered to us by the abyss.

***

Translated by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arrospide

***

 

Francisca Aguirre was born in 1930 in Alicante, Spain, and fled with her family to France at the end of the Spanish Civil War, where they lived in political exile.  When the Germans invaded Paris in 1942, her family was forced to return to Spain, where her father, painter Lorenzo Aguirre, was subsequently murdered by Francisco Franco’s regime.  Aguirre published Ítaca (1972), currently available in English (Ithaca [2004]), when she was 42 years old. Her work has garnered much critical success, winning the Leopoldo Panero, Premio Ciudad de Irún, and Premio Galliana, among other literary prizes.  Aguirre is married to the poet Félix Grande and is the mother of poet Guadalupe Grande.

 

 
Robin Ouzman Hislop (UK) Co-editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_Life_and_Times). He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010 & Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, Post Hoc installed at Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (UK), Uroborus Journal, 2011-2012 (Sheffield, UK), The Poetic Bond II & 111, available at http://www.thepoeticbond.com and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: http://bit.ly/1lIL0jF. He has recently completed a volume of poetry, The World at Large, for future publication. He is currently resident in Spain engaged in poetry translation projects.robin@artvilla.com and you can also visit Face Book site at www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes

 
WIN_20140415_213447
 

Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA