ADAN ETA BIZITZA ADAM AND LIFE
Bernardo Atxaga trans. Amaia Gabantxo (from Basque)


Gaixotu zen Adan paradisua utzi eta aurreneko neguan,
eta eztulka, buruko mmez, hogeita hemeretziko sukarraz
, negarrari eman zion Magdalenak gerora emango bezala,
eta Evagana zuzenduz "hil egingo naiz" esan zion oihuka,
"gaizki nago, maite, hilurren, ez dakit zer gertatzen zaidan".

Harritu egin zen Eva hitz haiekin, hil, hilurren, gaizki, maite,
eta berriak iruditu zitzaizkion, hizkuntza arrotz batekoak,
eta ezpain artean ibili zituen maiz, hil, hilurren, gaizki, maite,
harik eta zehazki ulertzen zituela iruditu zitzaion unea arte.
Ordurako sendatua zegoen Adan, eta poz pozik zebilen.

Paradisuaz geroko lehen gertaera hark segida luzea izan zuen,
eta lehengoez gain, hil, hilurren, gaizki, maite, Adan zein Evak
hitz berriak ikasi behar izan zituzten, min, Ian, bakardade, poz
eta beste hamaika, denbora, neke, algara, eder, ikara, kemen;
hiztegia hazten zenarekin batera, zimurtuz joan zitzaien azala.

Zahartu zen erabat Adan, sentitu zuen hurbil heriotzaren ordua,
eta Evarekin elkarrizketa sakon bat izateko gogoa sortu zitzaion;
"Eva", esan zion, "ez zen ezbehar bat izan paradisuaren galtzea;
oinazeak oinaze, minak min, gure Abelen zoritxarra halako zoritxar,
bizi izan duguna izan da, zentzurik nobleenean esanda, bizitza".

Adanen hilobi atarian malko arruntak isun ziren, gatz eta urezkoak,
lurrera erortzerakoan hiazinto edo arrosa alerik eman ez zutenak,
eta Kain izan zen, paradoxaz, negarrez bortitzen puskatu zena;
Gero Evak irribarre xamurrez gogoratu zuen Adanen lehen gripea
eta halaxe, lasai, etxera joan eta salda beroa hartu zuten, eta txokolatea.


The winter after leaving Paradise Adam got sick;
he had a cough, a headache, thirty-nine-degree fever,
and cried like Mary Magdalene would all those years later.
Coming to Eve he shouted "I'm going to die I'm so unwell
my love, I'm in agony, I don't know what's wrong with me."

Eve was surprised by those words die, agony, unwell, my love,
they seemed new like they belonged to a foreign tongue,
so she rolled them over in her mouth die, agony, unwell, my love,
until one day she was certain she understood them completely.
By then Adam had recovered and was as happy as anything.

After leaving Paradise lots of other stuff happened
and on top of the old die, agony, unwell, my love both Adam and Eve
had to learn new words like pain, work, loneliness, joy
and more, such as time, fatigue, laughter, beauty, fear, courage;
as their dictionary grew, so did the number of wrinkles on their faces.

Adam was getting old, he sensed his time would soon be up
and felt the need to have a deep conversation with Eve;
"Eve," he said, "it wasn't such a misfortune to lose Paradise;
despite all the suffering, all the pain, despite what happened to Abel.
What we have lived through is, in the noblest sense of the word, life."

Ordinary tears were shed by Adam's grave, tears of salt and water,
no hyacinths or roses sprang up where they fell.
Funnily enough, it was Cain who who wept most bitterly.
Afterwards Eve smiled tenderly remembering Adam's first 'flu
and all soothed she went home, drank hot soup, ate chocolate.

Copyright © Bernardo Atxaga 2007; trans. copyright © Amaia Gabantxo 2007


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