Small Birds.(Los Pajaros). A Poem by Isla Correyero. Translated by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arrospide

This work comprises in an excerpt from the anthology on contemporary Spanish female poets entitled Las Diosas Blancas. Madrid, 1985. Copyright Ed. Ramon Buenaventura. Hiperion. This is an original and unpublished English version of the original poem written in Spanish. Translators Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide would like to thank Casa del Traductor, in Tarazona and the British Literary Translation Association, East Anglia University Campus.

From this Spanish anthology –compiled by the well-known scholar and translator Mr. Ramón Buenaventura, whom we contacted earlier– a few selected authors were chosen for our joint translation work: Amalia Iglesias: Te buscare para decirte (I Will Find You To Tell You) , Ana Rossetti: Triunfo de Artemis sobre Volupta (Triumph Of Artemis Over Volupta) and Isolda (Isolda) , Blanca Andreu: Para Olga (For Olga) ,Isla Correyero: Los Pajaros (Small Birds) , Amparo Amoros: Midas (Midas) and Criaturas del gozo (Creatures Of Joy) , Rosalia Vallejo: Horno en llamarada (A Furnace In Flames) , Maria del Carmen Pallares: Sisargas (Sisargas) , Margarita Arroyo: Era el mar lejos del mar ( It Was Sea Away From Sea).

We would like to thank Mr. Ramón Buenaventura and the above name poets, in advance, and let them rest assured that their work is protected by a legal Creative Commons Licence, by virtue of which the above named translators are willing to provide excerpts from their original translation work, provided that readers agree to use it under the terms of such licence. We strongly recommend reading the entire work and the poets’, who have continued evolving during these decades.


My consciousness rests upon the fifth stair of your agony.
Asleep in my eyes are two small proud birds.
I have just painted my whole face red and afterwards burnt it.
My hair hangs in salt crystals and tufts of cotton wool.
You are naked before me. I am lying to you.
I am naked before you, an untouched white blossoming virgin.
A shaded grove and snowy whiteness envelope us.
A hollow gorge is piled with pearls and medusas and cast out eyes of fish.
There are mutilated children afloat in the bathing pools of Ariadne’s
estate, yellow sandals and birch branches.
Sanskrit scrolls are floating across the Ross Sea
together with the remains of cetaceans and sea elephants.
Those goats that penetrated the galleon’s cabin
I know will die.
Five pirates wearing brass studs in their cheekbones, ready-made
amulets, dried blood of dogs and bison.
I thirst. It seems as though I am dead.
From the mortuary emerges a giant flask of whisky laden in grapefruit. A
small girl walks behind the catafalque, naked and
she lies. Into an urn her hands contain falls a drop of amber.
Pages of paper ferment in rainfalls. There are scars of ice
over each word.
Asleep in my eyes are two small proud birds.
Waters flow from my hands to make streaks in the dust; loaves
of mica lay a vault to my solitary ancientness.
Sunlight bursts a bubble and gathers herbs from the landscape.
Out of the desert came a caravan of the demented who handed
over its prisoners to the vultures, left now to grow
beards and at dawn depart for the Pole.
Outside my door are the goats they left behind. They lie on
the floor quartered and covered in honey.
Close to the beach a fisherman has furtively caught a bear cub,
and whilst it yet lives, devours its flesh, raw.
Other birds have come to my eyes.
On lavatory walls are seen images of the passion according to Mathew.
In chestnut boughs, at peace now, the spirit of the Melchite
roams, a gypsy without teeth.
In a silver milk jug the right hand of the Margot
is submerged in milk.
The oldest house in the village has burnt down. Fire is
arrogant and consoling.
The following day ashes were mixed with geraniums and hairs
of the ancient crone.
You are still naked before me. You are weeping.
I am still naked before you, I don’t lie, now.
Ashes fall from my face to yours and I repeat in-
comprehensibly: The small proud birds are dead
in my eyes. The small proud birds.
My consciousness is on the fifth stair of your agony.
In my eyes are all the watchful small proud birds of the earth.

– Cráter (Provincia, Colección de Poesía, León, 1984)
– Lianas (Hiperión, Madrid, 1988).
– Crímenes (Ediciones Libertarias, Madrid, 1993)
– Diario de una enfermera (Huerga y Fierro Editores, Madrid, 1996)
– La pasión (ExLibris Ediciones, 1998)
– Feroces (DVD, Barcelona, 1998)

isla correyero
Isla Correyero was born in Extremadura and lived in various Spanish towns and cities, since the age of 16 she has lived in Madrid. She studied Dance, Information Sciences and Child Care and currently works as coordinator of screenplays and TV. Her Poetry publications are: Cráter, 1984, Colección provincia , León. Lianas , 1988, Hiperion, Madrid. Crímenes, 1993, Libertarias, Madrid. Diario de una enfermera,(Premio Ciudad de Córdoba 1997), Huerga y Fierro, Madrid. La Pasión, Finalista Premio Poesía Mística Fernano Rielo 1998. Ex – Libris Amor tirano, Premio Hermanos Argensola 2002 DVD , Barcelona. – She edited the well known anthology Feroces. 1998 DVD, Barcelona, and was herself included in anthologies such as Las diosas blancas, Hiperion. She has given recitals and taught poetry workshops in Spain, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Canada and the Netherlands. She has 4 unpublished books. One is an opera, Divorcio, which was performed at the University of Salamanca in 2013. Recently she created her own publishing company, Inspirar Expirar.
Isla Correyero nació en Extremadura. Ha vivido en pueblos y distintas ciudades españolas. Desde los 16 años vive en Madrid. Cursó estudios de Danza, Ciencias de la información y Puericultura. Actualmente trabaja como coordinadora de guiones de cine y TV , aunque su gran trabajo y pasión es la Poesía. En el año 2000 le fue concedida la Medalla de Honor de su Colegio Mayor Universitario Isabel de España, Madrid. Publicaciones poéticas : Cráter, 1984, Colección provincia , León. Lianas , 1988, Hiperion, Madrid. Crímenes, 1993, Libertarias, Madrid Diario de una enfermera, premio ciudad de Córdoba 1997 , Huerga y Fierro, Madrid. La Pasión, Finalista premio poesía mística Fernano Rielo 1998. Ex – Libris Amor tirano, Premio Hermanos Argensola 2002 DVD , Barcelona. – Es la autora de la antología Feroces. 1998 DVD, Barcelona. Ha publicado diversas plaquettes. Ha sido antologada, entre otras, en Las diosas blancas, Hiperion y Ellas tienen la palabra, Hiperion. Ha dado recitales e impartido talleres de poesía en España, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Canadá y Holanda. Por variadas causas editoriales no ha publicado en estos once últimos años. Tiene 4 libros inéditos. Uno de ellos es una ópera, Divorcio (Hoz en la espalda), que se representó coralmente en el teatro Juan Del Enzina, de la Universidad de Salamanca 2013 Una de las razones fundamentales por las que ha decidido crear su propio sello editorial, Inspirar Expirar ediciones, autopublicándose exten-samente. Así como para poder publicar a otros poetas de su gusto y ética.


Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at 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, his 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 The Poetic Bond and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. 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.
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