CUATRO PÁJAROS FOUR BIRDS
Pedro Serrano trans. Anna Crowe
Los cuatro garabatos, monstruos lerdos, se abaten,
sombras deslavadas contra mar y cielo gris,
uniformados gendarmes prusianos.
Encorvándose,
la lanceta en la punta del casco,
chatos y torpes,
sin que decir ni a que cambiar, taimados,
puestos ahí, denuestos del estorbo.
Chocan unos con otros,
mal hallados en la mano de dios;
confiados en sus pares, rigoletos,
se ríen con pasmada seguridad.
A veces, una ráfaga los descoloca y asusta,
se agitan aspaventosos,
malencarados,
se frotan y recelan mutuamente.
Penachitos enhiestos cacareando
la desplazada severidad,
sus alas rubicundas y tiesas,
miríadas en un abotagado pavoneo,
hacen y se deshacen en caravanas.
Bobos poetas gordos y pomposos.
Perezosos al fondo
remecen sus maneras,
zurean al tango de otras gestas.
Nobles que son, me digo, nobleza obliga.
These four scribbles, unlovely and torpid, flop down,
shadows of thin wash against sea and grey sky,
Prussian guards in uniform.
Bending over,
with that spike on the helmet’s point,
sluggish and squat,
aimlessly veering at no given signal, sly,
higgledy-piggledy, doubly obstructive.
Awkward in the hand of God,
they collide with each other;
trusting their fellows, they’re Rigolettos,
stunned and erupting in confident laughter.
At times, a gust buffets them sideways, startling them,
and their small wings whirr, get into a flap,
cross-patches,
grazing each other in tit-for-tat.
Crests erect, cackling
their ruffled dignity,
their stiff, rust-coloured wings,
myriads in a plump display,
dropping then folding curtsey after curtsey.
Foolish poets, pompous and fat.
Lazy at heart
they rehearse a stiff rocking,
coo to the tango of courtly heroics.
Live and let live, I tell myself, and noblesse oblige.

Orig. copyright © Pedro Serrano 2005; trans. copyright © Anna Crowe 2005


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