DOLOR ANGUISH
Alfonsina Storni trans. Michelle Cliff

Quisiera esta tarde divina de octubre
Pasear por la orilla lejana del mar;

Oue la arena de oro, y las aguas verdes,
Y los cielos puros me vieran pasar.

Ser alta, soberbia, perfecta, quisiera,
Como una romana, para concordar

Con las grandes olas, y las rocas muertas
Y las anchas playas que ciñen el mar.

Con el paso lento, y los ojos fríos
Y la boca muda, dejarme llevar;

Ver cómo se rompen las olas azules
Contra los granitos y no parpadear

Ver cómo las aves rapaces se comen
Los peces pequeños y no despertar;

Pensar que pudieran las frágiles barcas
Hundirse en las aguas y no suspirar;

Ver que se adelanta, la garganta al aire,
El hombre más bello; no desear amar ...

Perder la mirada, distraídamente,
Perderla, y que nunca la vuelva a encontrar;

Y, figura erguida, entre cielo y playa,
Sentirme el olvido perenne del mar.

This flawless October afternoon
I would like to walk the distant shore.

And the golden sands and green waters
And the undiluted skies would see me pass.

I would like to be tall, magnificent, perfect,
Like a woman of ancient Rome, in harmony

With the huge waves and the dead rocks
And the broad beaches that edge the sea.

With a deliberate gait, dull eyes, silent mouth
I would let myself be carried along:

To see blue waves break
Against tiny grains of sand, and not blink;

To see raptors devour
Little fish, and not sigh;

To think that small, flimsy boats
could disappear in the waters, and not awaken;

To see a beautiful man approach, a giant,
unattached: not to desire ... not love ...

To lose sight, absentmindedly,
To lose what would never return;

And, a figure upright between sky and sand,
To feel the incessant indifference of the sea.

We believe this poem is in the public domain - if anyone disputes this, please contact us. Translation copyright © Michelle Cliff 2006. Publ. PN Review 32.4.


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