OTRA VEZ, CON SENTIMIENTO ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
Luis Cernuda trans. Stephen Kessler


Ya no creí que más invocaría
De tu amistad antigua la memoria,
Que de ti se adueñó toda una tribu
Extraña para mí y para ti no menos
Extraña acaso.
......................Mas uno de esa tribu,
Profesor y, según pretenden él y otros
De por allá (cuánto ha caído nuestra tierra),
Poeta, te ha llamado "mi príncipe".
Y me pregunto qué hiciste tú para que ése
Pueda considerarte como príncipe suyo.

¿Vaciedad académica? La vaciedad común resulta
En sus escritos. Mas su rapto retórico
No aclara a nuestro entendimiento
Lo secreto en tu obra, aunque también le llamen
Crítico de la poesía nuestra contemporanea.

La apropiación de ti, que nada suyo
Fuiste o quisiste ser mientras vivías,
Es lo que ahí despierta mi extrañeza.
¿Principe tú de un sapo? ¿No les basta
A tus compatriotas haberte asesinado?

Ahora la estupidez sucede al crimen.


From our old friendship
I never thought I'd ever remember again
How a whole tribe, such a strange group
To me and maybe no less strange to you,
Adopted you.
....................But one of that tribe,
A professor and, according to him and others
Over there (which shows how far our land has fallen),
A poet, called you "my prince."
And I ask myself what you ever did that he
Could have come to think of you as his prince.

Academic claptrap? His writings are full of clichés
And conventional thinking. But his rapturous rhetoric
Does nothing to clarify our understanding
Of the mystery in your work, even though he's also called
A critic of our contemporary poetry.

The appropriation of you, which you wanted
Nothing to do with when you were alive,
Is what now seems to me so utterly strange.
The prince of a toad? Isn't it enough
For your countrymen to have killed you?

And now stupidity succeeds the crime.

Copyright © the heirs of Luis Cernuda, transl. © Stephen Kessler 2008


next
index
translator's next