04 November 2006

All Saints Day

"Merece lo que sue~nas"/"Deserve your dream"

As John reminds us, it is All Saints/All Souls/Dia de los Muertos. And although he's not 'tagged' me, I'll counter his Octavio Paz poem with a Paz selection of my own, from one of my favorite books of all time, the prose poem masterpiece, "?Aguila o Sol?" "Eagle or Sun?"

from "The Poet's Work"

Escribo sobre la mesa crepuscular, apoyando fuerte la plima sobre su pecho casi vivo, que gime y recuerda al bosque natal. La tinta negra abre sus grandes alas. La lampara estalla y cubre mis palabras una capa de cristales rotos. Un fragmento afilado de luz me corta la mano derecha. Continuo escribiendo con ese mu~non que mana su jeta de piedra, grandes tempanos de aire se interponen entre la pluma y el papel. Ah, un simple monosilabo bastaria para hacer saltar al mundo. Pero esta noche no hay sitio para una sola palabra mas.

I write on the glimmering table, my pen resting heavily on its chest that is almost living, that moans and remembers the forest of its birth. Great wings of black ink open. The lamp explodes and a cape of broken glass covers my words. A sharp sliver of light cuts off my right hand. I keep writing with this stump that sprouts shadows. Night enters the room, the opposite wall puckers its big stone lips, great blocks of air come between my pen and the paper. A simple monosyllable would be enough to make the world burst. But tonight there is no room for a single word more.

(translation by Eliot Weinberger)

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