Timothy Adès : Poet and Translator

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Alfonso Reyes (1889–1959): Silencio / Silence

Translated by Timothy Adès

Escojo la voz más tenue
para maldecir del trueno,
como la miel más delgada
para triaca del veneno.
En la corola embriagada
del más’efímero sueño,
interrogo las astucias
del desquite contra el tiempo,
y a la barahunda opongo
el escogido silencio.
No es menos luz la centella
por cegar sólo un momento,
ni es desamor el amor
que enmudece por intenso.
Cada vez menos palabras;
y cada palabra, un verso;
cada poema, un latido;
cada latido, universo.
Esfera ya reducida
a la norma de su centro,
es inmortal el instante
y lo fugitivo eterno.
Flecha que clavó el destino,
aunque presuma de vuelo,
déjate dormir, canción,
que ya duraste un exceso.

This voice is most slender,
my choice to curse thunder,
as honey most tender
is physic for venom.
In a bud that is primed
on ephemeral dream,
I inquire into ploys
to get even with time;
I counter the noise
with silence, my choice.
No less Light is the spark
that is dark for a moment
and love is still love
by intensity silent.
Each time, fewer words;
and each word, a verse;
each poem, a pulse;
each pulse, universe.
A sphere now reduced
to the span of its kernel,
the moment’s immortal,
the fleeting’s eternal.
So sleep now, my song,
you’re a dart that fate nailed,
whose flight–plan has failed;
you’ve lasted too long.

Translation: copyright © Timothy Adès
Published in Acumen 52, May 2005

Content: copyright © Timothy Adès 2010–2017; all rights reserved

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